Poverty was once associated with being underweight – however according to a recent study by the University of Aberdeen, childhood obesity rates are climbing in poor communities while obesity rates are dropping in upper income communities. This is particularly concerning because childhood malnutrition is linked to a variety of issues – from poor cognitive development to reduced future income and fertility.

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According to the study, children born in poor communities in the 70s and 80s were more likely to be thin, with 10% of children likely to be thin. Today that statistic has flipped, and those born in lower income areas during the 90s and 2000s are 10% more likely to be obese. Meanwhile, the childhood obesity rate in communities with higher incomes is just 4% and falling.

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Lower income families often have less access to healthier foods like fruits and vegetables, and the associated costs can be prohibitive. This means that many turn to fast-food and less nutritious meals instead of healthier fare. Fortunately, the study also showed that childhood obesity rates have been dropping overall for children in the 2000s.

Via Medical Express

Lead image via Shutterstock, image via Natalie Maynor