Multilevel Correlates of Healthy BMI Maintenance and Return to a Healthy BMI among Children in Massachusetts


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

To examine predictors of healthy BMI maintenance (HBM) or return to a healthy BMI (RHB) among children. We studied 33,272 children in Massachusetts between 2008 and 2012. We used multinomial logistic regression to examine associations of individual- and neighborhood-level factors with the odds of: (1) HBM: maintenance of a healthy BMI ≥5th to <85th percentile and (2) RHB: transition to a healthy BMI range from an initial BMI ≥85th percentile between two clinic visits spanning an average of 3.5 years. Racial/ethnic minorities had lower odds of HBM and RHB than non-Hispanic white children. Higher neighborhood educational attainment was associated with an increased odds of HBM and RHB. Higher neighborhood median household income, proximity to a supermarket, and access to more open recreational space were associated with a higher odds of HBM. Children of ages 2-5 years at baseline had higher odds of RHB and HBM than children 13 years and older. Early childhood interventions and efforts to create health-promoting neighborhoods including improving access to supermarkets and open recreational space could have important effects on obesity prevention and management.

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