Area-level socioeconomic disparity trends in nutritional status among 5-6-year-old children in Israel

Yiska Loewenberg Weisband, Vered Kaufman-Shriqui, Yael Wolff Sagy, Michal Krieger, Wiessam Abu Ahmad, Orly Manor

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3 Scopus citations


Objective This study aimed to assess area-level socioeconomic position (SEP) disparities in nutritional status, to determine whether disparities differed by sex and to assess whether nutritional status and disparities changed over time. Design We used repeated cross-sectional data from a national programme that evaluates the quality of healthcare in Israel to assess children's nutritional status. Setting The study included all Israeli residents aged 7 years during 2014-2018 (n=699 255). Methods SEP was measured based on the Central Bureau of Statistics' statistical areas, and grouped into categories, ranging from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). We used multivariable multinomial regression to assess the association between SEP and nutritional status and between year and nutritional status. We included interactions between year and SEP to assess whether disparities changed over time. Results Children in SEP 1, comprised entirely of children from the Bedouin population from Southern Israel, had drastically higher odds of thinness compared with those in the highest SEP (Girls: OR 5.02, 99% CI 2.23 to 11.30; Boys: OR 2.03, 99% CI 1.19 to 3.48). Odds of obesity were highest in lower-middle SEPs (OR SEP 5 vs 10 1.84, 99% CI 1.34 to 2.54). Prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased between 2014 and 2018, normal weight increased and thinness did not change. SEP disparities in thinness decreased over time in boys but showed a reverse trend for girls. No substantial improvement was seen in SEP disparities for other weight categories. Conclusions Our study demonstrates the need to consider initiatives to combat the considerable SEP disparities in both thinness and obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1054
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • comm child health
  • epidemiology
  • nutrition
  • obesity


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