Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Link between obesity and dental health in homeless children strengthened

Date:
November 13, 2012
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Obesity and dental cavities increase and become epidemic as children living below the poverty level age, according to nurse researchers.

Obesity and dental cavities increase and become epidemic as children living below the poverty level age, according to nurse researchers from the Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron.

Related Articles


"It's the leading cause of chronic infections in children," said Marguerite DiMarco, associate professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Researchers Sheau-Huey Chiu, assistant professor, and graduate assistant Jessica L. Prokp, from the University of Akron's College of Nursing, contributed to the study.

Researchers found that as body mass index (BMI) increased with age, so do the number of cavities. These findings were published in the online Journal of Pediatric Health Care article, "Childhood obesity and dental caries in homeless children."

The study examined the physicals of 157 children, from 2 to 17 years old, at an urban homeless shelter. Most were from single-parent families headed by women with one or two children.

Obesity was calculated based on height and weight or BMI. Cavity counts included missing, filled or injured teeth. The data was originally collected for DiMarco's doctoral dissertation at Case Western Reserve nursing school.

While studies in Brazil, New Zealand, Sweden and Mexico have shown a relationship between obesity, dental health and poverty, few U.S. studies have examined how the three factors are linked.

A pediatric nurse practitioner, DiMarco said dental caries (tooth decay) and obesity outpaced such health issues as asthma among the children studied.

The findings support reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that obesity and poor oral health have doubled since 1980, raising the risk of diabetes and other health problems, as well as issues with self-esteem.

Poverty contributes to poor dental health by limiting access to nutritious food, refrigerators to preserve food and even running water in some homes, said DiMarco, who has seen dental caries as the predominant infectious disease in rural and urban children.

"Many people do not realize ," she said, "that dental caries is an infectious disease that can be transmitted from the primary caregiver and siblings to other children."

To help reduce the spread of dental infection, DiMarco reminds parents that gum disease and other oral infections can be spread by licking a child's spoon or baby bottle, or by sharing toothbrushes.

Another problem for children of poverty is access to dental care, where families lack the financial means and transportation to make and keep an appointment. And some working poor may not qualify for Ohio's Childhood Health Insurance Program, which subsidizes health and dental care reimbursements to providers.

"There are no easy solutions," DiMarco said, "especially with the homeless population."

Pediatric nurse practitioners are in a pivotal position to provide health information from birth through the teen years to prevent such health issues, DiMarco said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sheau-Huey Chiu, Marguerite A. DiMarco, Jessica L. Prokop. Childhood Obesity and Dental Caries in Homeless Children. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.pedhc.2011.11.007

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Link between obesity and dental health in homeless children strengthened." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113143652.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2012, November 13). Link between obesity and dental health in homeless children strengthened. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113143652.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Link between obesity and dental health in homeless children strengthened." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113143652.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins