Table of Contents
Journal of Anthropology
Volume 2014, Article ID 808634, 14 pages
Research Article

Influence of Adult Knee Height, Age at First Birth, Migration, and Current Age on Adult Physical Function of Bangladeshi Mothers and Daughters in the United Kingdom and Bangladesh

1Centre for Global Health & Human Development, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
2College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK
3Centre for Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy, UCL School of Pharmacy, 29-39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK
4School of Engineering and Design, Brunel University, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK
5Sight Cymru, Bradbury House, Park Buildings, Pontypool NP4 6JH, UK
6University of Birmingham, School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

Received 12 October 2013; Accepted 6 February 2014; Published 7 April 2014

Academic Editor: Benjamin Campbell

Copyright © 2014 Barry Bogin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the United Kingdom, Bangladeshi women have the lowest self-reported levels of physical activity and some of the highest levels of metabolic disease of all ethnic groups. To better understand these risks for poor health we employed life course and intergenerational hypotheses to predict lower body physical function in a sample of 121 Bangladeshi mothers (40–70 years old) and one of their adult daughters (17–36 years old) living in Bangladesh or in the UK. For the mothers, older age and shorter knee height predicted reduced lower body physical function. Knee height is a biomarker of nutrition and health status between birth and puberty. Age at first birth did not have a significant effect. For daughters, older age and migration to the UK predicted reduced lower body physical function. We controlled for total stature and fatness in all analyses. UK-born daughters were taller than BD-born daughters living in the UK, mostly due to differences in knee height. These new findings support previous research indicating that early life health and adequate nutritional status, along with appropriate adult physical activity and diet, may decrease risks for poor physical function, morbidity, and premature mortality.