Table 1

Sociodemographic, socioeconomic, biological and health-related differences across BMI groups for all three sweeps of MCS (MCS3, MCS4 and MCS5) combined

VariablesTotal
N (%)
MCS
BMIp (χ2)
Normal (or underweight)
N (%)
Overweight
N (%)
Obese
N (%)
Total29 001 (100)22 624 (78.1)4801 (16.5)1576 (5.4)N/A
Gender
 Male14 496 (49.9)11 593 (51.2)2163 (45.1)740 (47.0)<0.0001
 Female14 505 (50.1)11 031 (48.8)2638 (54.9)836 (53.0)
Ethnicity
 White25 287 (87.2)19 831 (87.7)4163 (86.7)1293 (82.0)<0.0001
 Mixed727 (2.5)529 (2.3)131 (2.7)57 (3.6)
 Black African/Caribbean579 (2.0)347 (1.5)155 (3.2)77 (4.9)
 Asian2049 (7.1)1619 (7.2)300 (6.3)130 (8.3)
 Other369 (1.2)298 (1.3)52 (1.1)19 (1.2)
Main respondent's highest education (MCS1)
 None3951 (13.6)2988 (13.2)675 (14.0)288 (18.3)<0.0001
 GCSE/A levels15 777 (54.4)12 069 (53.4)2786 (58.0)922 (58.5)
 Diploma higher education2895 (10.0)2272 (10.0)473 (10.0)150 (9.5)
 Degree or higher5754 (19.8)4805 (21.2)784 (16.3)165 (10.4)
 Foreign qualification624 (2.2)490 (2.2)83 (1.7)51 (3.2)
Natural mother's BMI (MCS1)
 Pregnant1311 (4.5)1038 (4.6)220 (4.6)53 (3.4)<0.0001
 Underweight1077 (3.7)973 (4.3)89 (1.9)15 (0.9)
 Normal weight15 840 (54.6)13 283 (58.7)2054 (42.8)503 (31.9)
 Overweight7158 (24.7)5114 (22.6)1542 (32.1)502 (31.8)
 Obese3615 (12.5)2216 (9.8)896 (18.7)503 (32.0)
Child currently taking at least one regular medication
 No25 443 (87.7)19 972 (88.3)4175 (87.0)1296 (82.2)<0.0001
 Yes3558 (12.3)2652 (11.7)626 (13.0)280 (17.8)
Number of medicines
 025 443 (87.7)19 972 (88.3)4181 (87.0)1296 (82.2)<0.0001
 12178 (7.5)1651 (7.2)372 (7.7)155 (9.8)
 2918 (3.2)662 (2.9)177 (3.6)79 (5.0)
 3309 (1.0)233 (1.0)48 (1.0)28 (1.8)
 484 (0.3)59 (0.3)15 (0.3)10 (0.6)
 535 (0.1)23 (0.1)8 (0.2)4 (0.3)
 624 (0.1)17 (0.1)4 (0.1)3 (0.2)
 710 (0.1)7 (0.1)2 (0.1)1 (0.1)
Longstanding illness
 No24 148 (83.3)18 887 (83.5)4033 (84.0)1228 (78.0)<0.0001
 Yes4853 (16.7)3737 (16.5)768 (15.0)348 (22.0)
Sweep
 MCS39667 (33.3)7718 (34.1)1473 (30.7)476 (30.2)<0.0001
 MCS49667 (33.3)7819 (34.6)1337 (27,9)511 (32.4)
 MCS59667 (33.3)7087 (31.3)1991 (41.5)589 (37.4)
Mean (SD)Normal
Mean (SD)
Overweight
Mean (SD)
Obese
Mean (SD)
p (F)
Age at entry4.8 (0.4)4.8 (0.4)4.8 (0.4)4.8 (0.4)0.3
OECD equivalised weekly family income (MCS3–MCS4–MCS5)352.5 (200.1)359.0 (203.8)337.0 (186.9)308.0 (174.7)<0.0001
Number of medications0.20 (0.62)0.18 (0.60)0.21 (0.64)0.31 (0.79)<0.0001
  • BMI, body mass index; GCSE, General Certificate of Secondary Education; MCS, Millennium Cohort Study; N/A, not applicable; OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.