Early emergence of ethnic differences in chronic disease risk: the contribution of diet and physical activity

Lead Research Organisation: St George's University of London
Department Name: Community Health Sciences

Abstract

British South Asians face increased risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease; British African-Caribbean adults face increased risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and stroke in adult life. The reasons for these patterns are not fully understood. However, there is growing evidence that these ethnic differences in disease risk emerge early in life, offering opportunities for early prevention (particularly in these high risk ethnic groups) before the diseases are established. Diet and physical activity are both risk factors for obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and could be important in explaining ?and preventing - these ethnic differences in disease risk. However, we know little about the extent of ethnic differences in diet and physical activity among British South Asians and African-Caribbeans, especially in children. We therefore propose to assess diet and physical activity patterns among 2000 British primary school children of South Asian, African-Caribbean and European origin during an ongoing health survey. The information which we will collect will allow us to examine the following questions:-
-How much do diet and exercise patterns vary between 9-10 year-old children children of different ethnic groups?
-How important are these differences in diet and exercise patterns in explaining emerging differences in risks of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease between children from different ethnic groups?
-What are the factors (at individual, family, school and community levels) which affect the dietary and physical activity patterns of these children? Do these factors differ between ethnic groups?

The information collected will be used to inform strategies for early prevention of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, particularly in these high-risk ethnic groups.

Technical Summary

British South Asian adults have increased risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease compared with White Europeans, while those of African-Caribbean origin have increased risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Recent studies suggest that these ethnic differences in disease risk are persisting in second/third generation immigrants and that they emerge in childhood. Dietary and physical activity patterns are important determinants of risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease; ethnic differences in diet and physical activity could be important in the aetiology of ethnic differences in risks of these diseases and may offer scope for prevention. However, information on the extent to which diet and physical activity differs among British children from different ethnic groups is limited. In an ongoing survey of the cardiovascular health of 9-10 year old British children among different ethnic groups, we will carry out detailed assessments of dietary intake (using a 24 hour dietary recall and a 3-day prospective dietary diary) and make objective measurements of physical activity over a 7-day period using the validated Actigraph movement sensor. The information collected will allow us (a) to quantify ethnic differences in dietary intake and levels of physical activity; (b) to determine the relations of diet and physical activity to adiposity, insulin resistance, the metabolic syndrome and other cardiovascular risk markers among children of different ethnic groups; (c) to examine the extent to which ethnic differences in diet and physical activity explain emerging ethnic differences in these risk markers and (d) to study the potential determinants of diet and physical activity levels in an ethnically diverse population of children (including factors measured at individual, family, school and community levels). The results of the study will inform the development of strategies directed to early prevention of chronic disease in these high-risk ethnic groups.

Publications

10 25 50

publication icon
Nightingale CM (2017) Screen time is associated with adiposity and insulin resistance in children. in Archives of disease in childhood

 
Description BHF PhD Studentship
Amount £98,000 (GBP)
Organisation British Heart Foundation (BHF) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2008 
End 09/2011
 
Description Project grant (DUK)
Amount £70,200 (GBP)
Funding ID 11/0004317 
Organisation Diabetes UK 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2011 
End 06/2013
 
Description Wellcome Seed Awards
Amount £90,000 (GBP)
Organisation Wellcome Trust 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2016 
End 10/2018
 
Title CHASE physical activity and diet database 
Description Information on diet and physical activity in 2000 children from different ethnic groups 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of Data/Biological Samples 
Year Produced 2007 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Collaborative analyses and reports in progress 
 
Description CHASE Collaboration 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Department MRC Human Nutrition Research Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaborations established with MRC Epidemiology Unit Cambridge and with MRC Human Nutrition Research Cambridge
Collaborator Contribution Providing specific expertise in measurement technquesExpertise in measurement techniques
Impact This is a multidisciplinary collaboration involving nutritional science, exercise physiology and epidemiology. Several publications on the epidemiological aspects of physical activity and diet have now been published
Start Year 2006
 
Description CHASE Collaboration 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department MRC Epidemiology Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution Collaborations established with MRC Epidemiology Unit Cambridge and with MRC Human Nutrition Research Cambridge
Collaborator Contribution Providing specific expertise in measurement technquesExpertise in measurement techniques
Impact This is a multidisciplinary collaboration involving nutritional science, exercise physiology and epidemiology. Several publications on the epidemiological aspects of physical activity and diet have now been published
Start Year 2006
 
Description Engagement activity (Diabetes UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact About 80 people attended a presentation on research on type 2 diabetes in different ethnic groups, followed by questions and active discussion.

Interest was expressed by professional audience members about the possibility of research collaboration and involvement in further research studies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Newsletters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Newsletters prepared for participating schools

No specific
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description School visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Talking to schools involved in research about broader health and research issues

Requests from pupils for career advice
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007