B4514 - Urban exposome and body mass index trajectories from birth to adolescence - 06/02/2024

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Martine Vrijheid | ISGlobal (Spain)
Dr. Tom Ranger, Sandra Márquez
Title of project: 
Urban exposome and body mass index trajectories from birth to adolescence
Proposal summary: 

This project will investigate whether the environment in which children live affects their likelihood of becoming overweight or obese as they grow up.

There is evidence that some factors of the urban environment, such as air pollution and whether the street design encourages walking, are linked to body mass index in children. There is a need to build on this evidence though, by considering how different factors might interact with each other, for example if a person lives near a busy road they will be exposed to noise and air pollution from it, so it is important to determine whether these factors are both related to body mass index, or whether it is one or the other. We will also investigate whether characteristics of individual people, like age and socio-economic status, affect the relationships found in previous studies.

This project will use height and weight measurements collected from children in the ALSPAC study and combine them with information on the environment in which they live, for example air pollutant levels, the amount of green and blue space, and the amount of public transport. We will use this information to determine whether the environment in which a child grows up affects their likelihood of becoming overweight or obese in later life, and also whether there are interactions between these factors. Understanding how these factors might affect overweight and obesity in childhood, and how it progresses into adolescence, is important for identifying communities that may be at increased risk, and to provide information that local communities may wish to use to address any relevant risk factors.

Impact of research: 
We aim to publish at least one peer-reviewed journal article and distribute our findings more broadly through "The conversation" style pieces. We hope these findings will inform the development and re-development of urban areas to maximise health outcomes for children and young people.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 16 January, 2024
Date proposal approved: 
Monday, 29 January, 2024
Epidemiology, Obesity, Statistical methods, Environment - enviromental exposure, pollution