Childcare may offer a potential setting for obesity prevention, but the correlation between childcare and overweight, particularly in different socio-economic groups, has been found. A recent assessment of childcare in OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries highlighted the potential for childcare to widen inequalities.
There were two objectives of the study – to find the association between childcare and overweight (including obesity), both overall and by socio-economic background, in a contemporary UK cohort of children at age 3 years and explore infant feeding as a potential mediator between childcare in infancy and overweight at age 3 years.
Researchers found that children who were cared for in informal childcare (75% grandparents) between the age of 9 months and 3 years were more likely to be overweight than those cared for only by a parent. Children from more advantaged families who use informal childcare are at increased risk of overweight.
The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.
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