Overweight and Obesity in Finnish Children by Parents’ Socioeconomic Position: A Registry-Based Study

Päivi Mäki, Esko Levälahti, Susanna Lehtinen-Jacks, Tiina Laatikainen

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Objectives: To examine associations between parents’ socioeconomic position (SEP) and child overweight and obesity, using registry data. Methods: Data (final n = 194,423) on children’s height, weight and parents’ SEP were drawn from the national Register of Primary Health Care Visits (Avohilmo) and Statistics Finland. Risk ratios for bernoulli-distributed overweight (RROW) and obesity (RROB) according to SEP were estimated using generalized linear models and using a log -link. Results: The risk for obesity was lower in boys from high-income families (RROB 0.76), for overweight and obesity was lower in boys (RROW 0.72, RROB 0.58) and girls (RROW 0.72, RROB 0.54) with highly educated fathers, in boys (RROW 0.79, RROB 0.58) and girls (RROW 0.78, RROB 0.56) with high-educated mothers and in boys (RROW 0.85, RROB 0.77) and girls (RROW 0.80, RROB 0.69) living in urban areas, as compared to low-income families, low-educated parents, and rural residence, respectively. Conclusion: The risk of overweight and obesity was increased in children with low SEP or rural residence. Administrative registers are a valid approach to monitor childhood obesity by parents’ SEP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1605901
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • childhood obesity
  • health disparities
  • overweight and obesity
  • registry-based monitoring
  • socioeconomic position

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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