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Parental BMI and childhood undernutrition in India: an assessment of intrauterine influence
Authors: Subramanian SV, Ackerson LK, and Smith GD
Source: Pediatrics, 126(3):e663-71. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-0222
Topic(s): Body Mass Index (BMI)
Child health
Nutrition
Country: Asia
  India
Published: SEP 2010
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the influence of parental BMI on childhood undernutrition in India. METHODS: The study population was a nationally representative cross-sectional sample of singleton children (n = 15976) who were aged 0 to 59 months from the 2005-2006 Indian National Family Health Survey. Information was obtained by a face-to-face interview with the mother with a 94.5% response rate. Modified Poisson regression models that account for multistage survey design and sampling weights were applied to estimate the associations between parental BMI and childhood undernutrition. The outcome measures were child underweight, stunting, and wasting; parental BMI was the primary exposure. RESULTS: In mutually adjusted models, an increase in 1 unit of maternal BMI was associated with a lower relative risk (RR) for childhood undernutrition (underweight RR: 0.957 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.947-0.967]; stunting RR: 0.985 [95% CI: 0.977-0.993]; wasting RR: 0. 941 [95% CI: 0.926-0.958]). The association between paternal BMI and childhood undernutrition was similar to that observed for maternal BMI (underweight RR: 0.961 [95% CI: 0.951-0.971]; stunting RR: 0.986 [95% CI: 0.978-0.995]; wasting RR: 0.965 [95% CI: 0.947-0.982]). CONCLUSIONS: Similarity in the association between paternal/maternal BMI and childhood undernutrition suggests that intergenerational associations in nutritional status are not driven by maternal intrauterine influences.