Association of poverty and social exclusion with body mass index among Special Olympics athletes in Europe
To examine the association of a risk of poverty and social exclusion (AROPE), age, and gender with the body mass index (BMI) status of European Special Olympics athletes.
BMI records were available for 1905 children and youth and 5517 adults from the Special Olympics International (SOI) Health Promotion database. AROPE was extracted from EU Eurostat statistics. Logistic regression analyses were used to predict BMI status.
For children/youth and adults, respectively, 9.4 and 6.3% were underweight and 25.3 and 44.6% were overweight/obese. Being underweight was significantly associated with higher AROPE rates. Being female and lower AROPE rates were significantly associated with overweight/obesity for both children/youth (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.07–1.50 and OR 0.97; 95% CI 0.96–0.98) and adults (OR 1.55; 95% CI 1.39–1.72 and OR 0.96; 95% CI 0.95–0.98).
The Europe 2020 “platform against poverty” strategy aims to ensure that those experiencing poverty and social exclusion share the benefits of economic growth. These findings suggest that SOI health promotion efforts to foster healthy BMI are needed and should be tailored to specific social and economic circumstances in Europe.
KeywordsIntellectual disability Underweight Overweight Special Olympics Body mass index Poverty and social exclusion
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committees of each participating university. In order of authorship: University of Jyväskylä, University of Victoria, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and State University of New York College at Cortland.
- ALSWH (2007) ALSWH Data dictionary supplement. Section 3 Anthropometry. Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing. University of Newcastle. http://www.alswh.org.au/for-researchers/data. Accessed Jan 2017
- Antufermo M, Di Meglio E (2012) Population and social conditions. Eurostat: Statistics in Focus 9/2012. http://www.siis.net/documentos/ficha/204959.pdf. Accessed May 2017
- Bergström H, Hagströmer M, Hagberg J, Schafer Elinder L (2013) A multi-component universal intervention to improve diet and physical activity among adults with intellectual disabilities in community residences: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Res Dev Disabil 34:3847–3857. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2013.07.019 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- European Commission (2010) Europe 2020. A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. http://ec.europa.eu/eu2020/pdf/COMPLET%20EN%20BARROSO%20%20%20007%20-%20Europe%202020%20-%20EN%20version.pdf. Accessed May 2017
- Eurostat (2016a) Eurostat statistics explained. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Europe_in_figures_-_Eurostat_yearbook. Accessed May 2017
- Eurostat (2016b) Eurostat statistics explained. People at risk of poverty or social exclusion. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/People_at_risk_of_poverty_or_social_exclusion. Accessed 10 May 2016
- Eurostat (2016c) Glossary: at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE). http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Glossary:At_risk_of_poverty_or_social_exclusion_(AROPE). Accessed 11 May 2016
- Olympics Special (2007) Healthy choices, healthy athletes: Health promotion guide for Clinical Directors. Special Olympics, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Special Olympics (2016) Special Olympics global strategic plan 2016–2020. Washington, DC. http://media.specialolympics.org/resources/strategic-plan/Special-Olympics-Global-Strategic-Plan---2016-2020.pdf. Accessed May 2017
- Vidmar S, Carlin J, Hesketh K, Cole T (2004) Standardizing anthropometric measures in children and adolescents with new functions for egen. Stat J 4:50–55Google Scholar
- World Health Organization (1995) Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry (Technical Report Series No. 854). World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar