Table 2 Distribution of racial/ethnic groups across life course SES groups and obesity characteristics in analysis sample (n = 12 940) from Wave I (1994–1995) and Wave III (2000–2001) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health*
CharacteristicTotal n = 12 940Race/ethnicity % (SE)
White n = 7144Black n = 2693Hispanic n = 2113Asian n = 990
Life course SES
    Persistent disadvantage17.7 (1.2)13.4 (1.0)36.2 (2.6)†22.3 (2.1)†7.2 (1.8)†
    Disadvantage with autonomy15.0 (0.9)12.7 (0.8)10.0 (1.0)†38.5 (3.0)†18.8 (2.9)
    Material advantage28.5 (1.2)31.1 (1.4)19.1 (1.1)†17.3 (1.7)†25.2 (3.0)
    Educational advantage13.8 (0.5)12.4 (0.5)24.0 (1.6)†10.5 (1.1)13.6 (1.6)
    Highest overall advantage25.0 (1.8)30.4 (2.1)10.6 (1.7)†11.4 (1.6)†35.1 (3.1)
Obesity status‡
    Adolescent obesity8.7 (0.4)7.9 (0.5)12.6 (0.9)†9.8 (1.1)4.0 (1.4)†
    Young adult obesity18.3 (0.7)16.9 (0.9)24.9 (1.5)†20.3 (1.3)†11.2 (2.5)†
Obesity patterns$
    Obesity incidence (−/+)11.4 (0.5)10.6 (0.6)15.0 (1.2)†12.7 (1.1)7.7 (1.5)
    Obesity persistence (+/+)6.9 (0.4)6.3 (0.5)9.9 (0.8)†7.6 (0.7)3.5 (1.3)†
    Obesity reversal (+/−)1.8 (0.2)1.6 (0.2)2.7 (0.5)†2.2 (0.6)0.5 (0.2)†
    Stay non-obese (−/−)79.9 (0.7)81.5 (0.9)72.4 (1.3)†77.5 (1.5)†88.3 (2.6)†
  • *Weighted and corrected for clustering.

  • †p<0.05 for within-latent class difference between “white” and indicated race/ethnicity.

  • ‡Adolescent obesity assessed at Wave I; young adult obesity assessed at Wave III.

  • $Longitudinal obesity patterns summarised as follows: “−” represents non-obese and “+” represents obese in the format “(Wave I/Wave III)”.