Previous studies reported an increase of upper body mass index (BMI) quantiles for formula fed infants compared to breastfed infants, while corresponding mean differences were low. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of known risk factors for childhood obesity on the BMI distribution.
Data on 4,884 children were obtained at obligatory school entry health examinations in Bavaria (Germany). Exposure variables were formula feeding, maternal smoking in pregnancy, excessive TV-watching, low meal frequency, poor parental education, maternal overweight and high infant weight gain. Cumulative BMI distributions and Tukey mean-difference plots were used to assess possible shifts of BMI distributions by exposure.
Maternal overweight and high infant weight gain shifted the entire BMI-distribution with an accentuation on upper quantiles to higher BMI values. In contrast, parental education, formula feeding, high TV consumption, low meal frequency and maternal smoking in pregnancy resulted in a shift of upper quantiles only.
The single shifts among upper parts of the BMI distribution might be due to effect modification of the corresponding exposures by another environmental exposure or genetic predisposition. Affected individuals might represent a susceptible subpopulation of the exposed.
Aims: To investigate the prevalence of overweight according to nationality in preschool children living in Germany, and to establish the determinants responsible for differences in body mass index.
Methods: The study was performed within the context of the 2001/2002 obligatory health examination before school entry in the city of Aachen, Germany. Of 2020 eligible children 1979 children were recruited (participation rate: 98%). Children's height and weight were measured using a standardised protocol. The parents completed a standardised questionnaire on sociodemographic factors and possible determinants of nutritional status. Being overweight was defined according to age and sex specific reference values for German children as well as according to international reference values.
Results: The study population included 452 (22.9%) children with other than German nationality. Among these children the prevalence of overweight was twice as high than among German children (14.8% v 7.2%). Prevalence of most known risk factors for overweight, such as low physical activity, high consumption of soft drinks, and frequent visits to fast-food restaurants was higher in the children with other nationalities than in the German children. Multivariate analyses revealed that most of the difference in prevalence of obesity by nationality is explained by known risk factors of overweight, especially education of mother and watching TV.
Conclusions: The apparent ethnic differences could be explained by two non-ethnic but socioeconomic factors. In preventing overweight in children, there is the need to identify and deal with high risk environments rather than high risk ethnic groups.
Aims: To test for the coexistence of social inequalities in undernutrition and obesity in preschool children.
Methods: Retrospective, cross sectional, study of routinely collected data from 74 500 children aged 39–42 months in 1998/99. Main outcome measures were weight, height, sex, and age routinely recorded by health visitors. Body mass index (BMI) standardised for age and sex, relative to UK 1990 reference data, was used to define undernutrition (BMI <2nd centile) and obesity (BMI >95th centile; BMI >98th centile). Social deprivation was assessed as Carstairs deprivation category (1 = most affluent to 7 = most deprived).
Results: Both undernutrition (3.3%) and obesity (8.5% above 95th centile; 4.3% above 98th centile) significantly exceeded expected frequencies from UK 1990 reference data. Undernutrition and obesity were significantly more common in the more deprived families. Odds ratios in deprivation category 7 relative to category 1 were 1.51 (95% CI 1.22 to 1.87) for undernutrition (BMI <2nd centile) and 1.30 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.60) for obesity (BMI >98th centile). The cumulative prevalence of under and overnutrition (malnutrition) in the most deprived group was 9.5% compared to 6.9% in the least deprived group.
Conclusions: Undernutrition and obesity are significantly more common than expected in young children and strongly associated with social deprivation. Both undernutrition and obesity have adverse short and long term health effects. Public health strategies need to tackle malnutrition (both undernutrition and obesity) in children and take into consideration the association with social deprivation.
Overweight and obesity have become a global epidemic and are increasing rapidly in both childhood and adolescence. Obesity is linked both to socioeconomic status and to ethnicity among adults. It is unclear whether similar associations exist in childhood. The aim of the present study was to assess differences in overweight and obesity in migrant and German children at school entry.
The body mass index (BMI) was calculated for 525 children attending the 2002 compulsory pre-school medical examinations in 12 schools in Bielefeld, Germany. We applied international BMI cut off points for overweight and obesity by sex and age. The migration status of children was based on sociodemographic data obtained from parents who were interviewed separately.
The overall prevalence of overweight in children aged 6–7 was 11.9% (overweight incl. obesity), the obesity prevalence was 2.5%. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher for migrant children (14.7% and 3.1%) than for German children (9.1% and 1.9%). When stratified by parental social status, migrant children had a significantly higher prevalence of overweight than German children in the highest social class. (27.6% vs. 10.0%, p = 0.032) Regression models including country/region and socioeconomic status as independent variables indicated similar results. The patterns of overweight among migrant children differed only slightly depending on duration of stay of their family in Germany.
Our data indicate that children from ethnic minorities in Germany are more frequently overweight or obese than German children. Social class as well as family duration of stay after immigration influence the pattern of overweight and obesity in children at school entry.
Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem and epidemiological studies are important to identify predictive factors. It is the aim of this study to analyse factors associated with overweight/obesity in samples of German children.
35,434 five to seven year-old children (50.9% boys) participated in cross-sectional studies between 1991 and 2000 in several rural and urban areas in East and West Germany. Weight and height were measured and body mass index was calculated. International cut-off points, recommended by the International Obesity Task Force, were used to classify childhood overweight and obesity.
Predictive modelling was employed to analyse independently associated factors, using logistic regression to adjust for confounding.
15.5% were overweight, and 4.3% were obese. Female sex, other than German nationality, smoking in the living place and increasing birth weight were found to increase the odds of overweight and obesity, while increasing educational level, living space > 75 m2 and breastfeeding for more than three months were inversely associated.
The findings add to the evidence informing public health action, both through health promotion strategies (promoting breastfeeding, tackling smoking) and wider societal change management (addressing children from migrant families and families with low educational level).
Body mass index (BMI) data usually have skewed distributions, for which common statistical modeling approaches such as simple linear or logistic regression have limitations.
Different regression approaches to predict childhood BMI by goodness-of-fit measures and means of interpretation were compared including generalized linear models (GLMs), quantile regression and Generalized Additive Models for Location, Scale and Shape (GAMLSS). We analyzed data of 4967 children participating in the school entry health examination in Bavaria, Germany, from 2001 to 2002. TV watching, meal frequency, breastfeeding, smoking in pregnancy, maternal obesity, parental social class and weight gain in the first 2 years of life were considered as risk factors for obesity.
GAMLSS showed a much better fit regarding the estimation of risk factors effects on transformed and untransformed BMI data than common GLMs with respect to the generalized Akaike information criterion. In comparison with GAMLSS, quantile regression allowed for additional interpretation of prespecified distribution quantiles, such as quantiles referring to overweight or obesity. The variables TV watching, maternal BMI and weight gain in the first 2 years were directly, and meal frequency was inversely significantly associated with body composition in any model type examined. In contrast, smoking in pregnancy was not directly, and breastfeeding and parental social class were not inversely significantly associated with body composition in GLM models, but in GAMLSS and partly in quantile regression models. Risk factor specific BMI percentile curves could be estimated from GAMLSS and quantile regression models.
GAMLSS and quantile regression seem to be more appropriate than common GLMs for risk factor modeling of BMI data.
OBJECTIVE—To study the association between socioeconomic deprivation and childhood obesity.
DESIGN—Cross sectional study.
SETTING—All state primary schools in Plymouth. Plymouth is a relatively deprived city in the United Kingdom, ranking 338th of 366 local authorities on the Department of the Environment Index of Local Conditions.
SUBJECTS—20 973 children between the ages of 5 and 14 years, 1994-96.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE—Numbers of obese children (body mass index (BMI) above the 98th centile) by quarters of Townsend score.
RESULTS—Plymouth had a rate of childhood obesity two and half times that expected nationally (5% v 2%). The obesity prevalence increased with age, being almost double in the oldest age quarter (boys 6.2%; girls 7.0%), compared with the youngest age quarter. Within Plymouth, there was a significant trend for higher rates of obesity related to increasing deprivation in both boys (p=0.017) and girls (p=0.018). The odds ratio (OR) for childhood obesity (highest-lowest quarter of Townsend scores) had borderline significance in boys (OR 1.29, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.00 to 1.65, p=0.049) but was larger and more significant in the girls (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.80, p=0.011). Unlike boys, the association between obesity in girls and Townsend scores became stronger with age such that in the oldest age quarter (over 11.7 years), girls in the highest quarter of Townsend scores were nearly twice as likely be obese, as compared with the lowest quarter (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.23 to 3.08, p=0.005). State of pubertal development could not be accounted for as this information was not available.
CONCLUSIONS—This study provides evidence for an association between deprivation and childhood obesity in this English population. The health of children from deprived households is affected by a number of adverse influences. The high prevalence of obesity in these children is yet another factor that could predispose to greater morbidity in adult life.
Keywords: childhood obesity; socioeconomic deprivation; body mass index; Townsend material deprivation score
There is no data on diet- and activity-related behaviors associated with overweight and obesity among Pakistani school-aged children. The study aimed to explore dietary behaviors, physical activity and sedentary lifestyle associated with overweight and obesity, and their socio-demographic correlates, among Pakistani primary school children.
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted with a representative multistage random cluster sample of 1860 children aged five to twelve years in Lahore, Pakistan. Overweight (> +1 SD) and obesity (> +2 SD) were defined using the World Health Organization reference 2007. Chi-square test was used as the test of trend. Linear regression was used to examine the predictive power of independent variables in relation to body mass index (BMI). Logistic regression was used to quantify the independent predictors and adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained. Statistical significance was considered at P < 0.05.
Children skipping breakfast (8%), eating fast food and snacks ≥ once a week (43%) and being involved in sedentary lifestyle > one hour a day (49%) were significantly more likely to be overweight and obese while those participating in physical activity > twice a week (53%) were significantly less likely to be overweight and obese (all P < 0.01). Skipping breakfast (P < 0.001), eating fast food and snacks (P = 0.001) and sedentary lifestyle (P < 0.001) showed an independent positive association with BMI while physical activity showed an independent inverse association (P = 0.001). Skipping breakfast (aOR 1.82, 95% CI 1.22-2.71), eating fast food and snacks ≥ once a week (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.07-1.86), physical activity > twice a week (aOR 0.49, 95% CI 0.34-0.70) and sedentary lifestyle > one hour a day (aOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.19-2.03) were independent predictors of being overweight. Skipping breakfast had independent inverse association with physical activity (aOR 0.63, 95% CI 0.45-0.89) and eating fast food and snacks had independent positive association with sedentary lifestyle (aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.49-2.16). Female gender was independently associated with skipping breakfast (aOR 1.50, 95% CI 1.04-2.16). Male gender (aOR 1.64, 95% CI 1.33-2.02), urban area with high SES (aOR 5.09, 95% CI 3.02-8.60) and higher parental education (aOR 1.74, 95% CI 1.12-2.68) were significant independent predictors of eating fast food and snacks ≥ once a week. Living in the rural area was independently associated (aOR 2.51, 95% CI 1.71-3.68) with physical activity > twice a week. Male gender (aOR 1.60, 95% CI 1.31-1.95), urban area with low SES (aOR 1.46, 95% CI 1.02-2.09), high-income neighborhoods (aOR 1.52, 95% CI 1.02-2.25), higher parental education (aOR 1.55, 95% CI 1.03-2.34) and fewer siblings (aOR 1.38, 95% CI 1.10-1.73) were independent predictors of sedentary lifestyle > one hour a day.
Dietary behaviors, physical activity and sedentary lifestyle are independent predictors of overweight and higher BMI among Pakistani primary school children, and are significantly affected by the child's socio-demographic characteristics. These findings support the urgent need to develop a National strategy for diet and physical activity and to implement culturally relevant behavioral interventions in the resource-poor developing country settings.
Malnutrition, overweight and obesity are major health concerns in modern societies and especially among children. Overweight and obesity affect children's current and future health. It is known that the prevalence of overweight differs by race, sex, and geographic location.
In a cross-sectional study 30092 Iranian children aged 7-18 years in six ethnic groups were selected by a cluster sampling. Prevalence of obesity and overweight and distribution of body mass index (BMI) by gender, age, and ethnicity were measured. Cutoff points of BMI for defining obesity and overweight were based on the Iranian, and IOTF standard values.
This study showed a significant ethnic difference in BMI. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among Iranian children was 9.27% and 3.22% respectively comparing international standards. The frequency of overweight and obesity was higher in boys.
This study showed a significant difference in BMI among different ethnic groups.
BMI; Overweight; Obesity; School Children; Ethnicity
To assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Dutch children and adolescents, to examine the 30-years trend, and to create new body mass index reference charts.
Nationwide cross-sectional data collection by trained health care professionals.
Participants: 10,129 children of Dutch origin aged 0–21 years.
Main Outcome Measures
Overweight (including obesity) and obesity prevalences for Dutch children, defined by the cut-off values on body mass index references according to the International Obesity Task Force.
In 2009, 12.8% of the Dutch boys and 14.8% of the Dutch girls aged 2–21 years were overweight and 1.8% of the boys and 2.2% of the girls were classified as obese. This is a two to three fold higher prevalence in overweight and four to six fold increase in obesity since 1980. Since 1997, a substantial rise took place, especially in obesity, which increased 1.4 times in girls and doubled in boys. There was no increase in mean BMI SDS in the major cities since 1997.
Overweight and obesity prevalences in 2009 were substantially higher than in 1980 and 1997. However, the overweight prevalence stabilized in the major cities. This might be an indication that the rising trend in overweight in the Netherlands is starting to turn.
Previous reports have found associations between having been breast-fed and a reduced risk of being overweight. These associations may be confounded by sociocultural determinants of both breast-feeding and obesity. We addressed this possibility by assessing the association of breast-feeding duration with adolescent obesity within sibling sets.
We surveyed 5614 siblings age 9 to 14 years and their mothers. These children were a subset of participants in the Growing Up Today Study, in which we had previously reported an inverse association of breast-feeding duration with overweight. We compared the prevalence of overweight (body mass index exceeding the age-sex-specific 85th percentile) in siblings who were breast-fed longer than the mean duration of their sibship with those who were breast-fed for a shorter period. Then we compared odds ratios from this within-family analysis with odds ratios from an overall (ie, not within-family) analysis.
Mean ± standard deviation breast-feeding duration was 6.4 ± 4.0 months, and crude prevalence of overweight was 19%. On average, siblings who were breast-fed longer than their family mean had breast-feeding duration 3.7 months longer than their shorter-duration siblings. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for overweight among siblings with longer breast-feeding duration, compared with shorter duration, was 0.92 (95% confidence interval = 0.76–1.11). In overall analyses, the adjusted OR was 0.94 (0.88–1.00) for each 3.7-month increment in breast-feeding duration.
The estimated OR for the within-family analysis was close to the overall estimate, suggesting that the apparent protective effect of breast-feeding on later obesity was not highly confounded by unmeasured sociocultural factors. A larger study of siblings, however, would be needed to confirm this conclusion.
To compare children’s actual weight status with their parents’ perceptions of their weight status.
Cross-sectional study, including a self-administered questionnaire.
Seven elementary schools in Middlesex-London, Ont.
A convenience sample of pupils in grades 4 to 6 and their parents. Of the 770 child-parent pairs targeted, 355 pairs participated in the study.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Children’s weight, height, and body mass index (BMI). Parents’ perceptions of their children’s weight status, family demographics, and parents’ self-reported body weight and height. The United States Centers for Disease Control’s BMI-for-age references were used to define children’s weight status (underweight, overweight, or obese).
Response rate was 46%. Children’s actual weight status (ie, 29.9% overweight or obese and 1.4% underweight) was different from their parents’ perceptions of their weight status (ie, 18.3% overweight or obese and 17.2% slightly underweight or underweight). Factors suchas children’s sex and ethnicity and mothers’ weight influenced parents’ ability to recognize their children’s weight status. Parents’ misperceptions of their children’s weight status seemed to be unrelated to their levelsof education, their family income, or their children’s ages.
A large proportion of parents did not recognize that their children were overweight or obese. Effective public health strategies to increase parents’ awareness of their children’s weight status could be the first key steps in an effort to prevent childhood obesity.
To determine trends in weight, height, and body mass index in children between 1989 and 1998.
Retrospective series of cross sectional studies of routinely collected data.
Primary care in the Wirral Health Authority.
35 662 infants aged 1-3 months (representing 88% of live births) and 28 768 children aged 2.9-4.0 years. 21 582 infants and children (25.1%) were excluded because of missing or inaccurate data.
Main outcome measures
Weight, height, sex, and age routinely recorded by health visitors. Height, weight, and body mass index standardised for age and sex. SD score >1.04 for body mass index (>85th centile) was defined as overweight and >1.64 (>95th centile) as obese. Body mass index was not calculated in infants as it is difficult to interpret.
From 1989 to 1998 there was a highly significant increasing trend in the proportion of overweight children (14.7% to 23.6%; P<0.001) and obese children (5.4% to 9.2%; P<0.001). There was also a highly significant increasing trend in the mean SD score for weight (0.05 to 0.29; P<0.001) and body mass index (−0.15 to 0.31; P<0.001) but not height. Infants showed a small but significantly increasing trend in mean SD score for weight (−0.17 to −0.05; P=0.005).
From 1989 to 1998 there was a highly significant increase in weight and body mass index in children under 4 years of age. Routinely collected data are valuable in identifying anthropometric trends in populations.
Weight problems that arise in the first years of life tend to persist. Behavioral research in this period can provide information on the modifiable etiology of unhealthy weight. The present study aimed to replicate findings from previous small-scale studies by examining whether different aspects of preschooler’s eating behavior and parental feeding practices are associated with body mass index (BMI) and weight status -including underweight, overweight and obesity- in a population sample of preschool children.
Cross-sectional data on the Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, Child Feeding Questionnaire and objectively measured BMI was available for 4987 four-year-olds participating in a population-based cohort in the Netherlands.
Thirteen percent of the preschoolers had underweight, 8% overweight, and 2% obesity. Higher levels of children’s Food Responsiveness, Enjoyment of Food and parental Restriction were associated with a higher mean BMI independent of measured confounders. Emotional Undereating, Satiety Responsiveness and Fussiness of children as well as parents’ Pressure to Eat were negatively related with children’s BMI. Similar trends were found with BMI categorized into underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity. Part of the association between children’s eating behaviors and BMI was accounted for by parental feeding practices (changes in effect estimates: 20-43%), while children’s eating behaviors in turn explained part of the relation between parental feeding and child BMI (changes in effect estimates: 33-47%).
This study provides important information by showing how young children’s eating behaviors and parental feeding patterns differ between children with normal weight, underweight and overweight. The high prevalence of under- and overweight among preschoolers suggest prevention interventions targeting unhealthy weights should start early in life. Although longitudinal studies are necessary to ascertain causal directions, efforts to prevent or treat unhealthy child weight might benefit from a focus on changing the behaviors of both children and their parents.
Overweight; Underweight; BMI; Eating behavior; Feeding; Parenting; Children
There is increasing evidence suggesting that Bisphenol A (BPA), one of the highest volume chemicals produced worldwide, can interfere with the body’s natural weight control mechanisms to promote obesity. However, epidemiological studies for this are limited, especially for children.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to investigate the association between BPA exposure and body mass index (BMI) in school children. Three primary and three middle schools were randomly selected from 26 primary and 30 middle candidate schools in Changning District of Shanghai City in China. According to the BMI-based criteria by age and sex for screening of overweight or obese children, we randomly chose 20 obese, 10 overweight, and 30 normal weight children aged 8-15 years of age from each selected school. First morning urine was collected and total urine BPA concentrations were determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to examine the association of urine BPA concentrations and daily intake estimates with BMI.
BPA was detected in 84.9% of urine samples with a geometric mean of 0.45 ng/mL. The daily intake estimates ranged from 0.03 μg/day to 1.96 μg/day with a geometric mean of 0.37 μg/day. The average urine BPA concentrations and daily intake estimates were similar for boys and girls, but significantly higher in older children than younger ones, and showed an increasing trend with BMI. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that urine BPA concentrations were significantly associated with increasing BMI values in all subjects after adjustment for age and sex and the results were similar before and after corrected by urine specific gravity. When stratified by age or sex, the associations remained significant in females and in those 8-11 years of age before corrected by specific gravity. Similar results were shown for the association between BMI and daily intake estimates.
There is a possibility that BPA exposure increases BMI in school children. Given the cross-sectional nature of this study, longitudinal studies are warranted to confirm BPA exposure as a contributor to increased BMI in children.
Bisphenol A; Urine; Body mass index; Obesity; School children
It is reported that prevalence of overweight and obesity have increased in all age groups, but little is known about prevalence of overweight and obesity in preschool children. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to survey the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity in 3-6 year-old Tehranian children in 2009-2010.
This cross-sectional study was performed on a total of 756 (378 boys and 378 girls) preschool children aged 3-6. Subjects were selected through stratified sampling from 5 geographic regions of Tehran (east, west, north, south, and center). Body weight and height were measured directly. Underweight, overweight and obesity was defined as Body Mass Index (BMI) ≤ 5th percentile (underweight), 5th to 85th percentile (normal weight), 85th to 95th percentile (overweight), and > 95th percentile (obesity); based on recommendation of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2000.
Findings showed that the prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity was 4.77%, 9.81% and 4.77% in boys and 4.77%, 10.31% and 4.49% in girls, respectively.
Our findings showed a relatively high prevalence of overweight and obesity in Tehranian preschool children that is a serious problem. This result can be used in clinical setting and preventive programs.
Prevalence; Preschool; Obesity; Overweight; Underweight
Objective: To compare high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels in obese and overweight children and adolescents to normal-weight individuals as well as to compare hsCRP levels in overweight children/adolescents with and without additional metabolic disorders such as metabolic syndrome (MS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and prediabetes.
Methods: 54 consecutive obese children and adolescents with a body mass index (BMI) ≥95th centile and 50 overweight children and adolescents with BMI values between 85th and 95th centiles were screened for MS, prediabetes and NAFLD. Serum hsCRP levels were measured in all the participants and in 40 age-matched normal-weight individuals (controls).
Results: HsCRP levels were significantly increased in obese and overweight subjects as compared to the control group, (0.61±1.08 vs. 0.05±0.18 mg/dL, p<0.001 and 0.33±0.25 vs. 0.05±0.18 mg/dL, p<0.001, respectively). HsCRP levels were similar between obese and overweight subjects (p=0.109). Obese and overweight children with NAFLD had significantly higher levels of hsCRP compared to their counterparts without NAFLD (0.78±1.4 vs. 0.34±0.31 mg/dL, p=0.016). The levels of hsCRP were comparable in the obese and overweight children/adolescents with and without MS and with or without prediabetes (0.95±1.66 vs. 0.35±0.27 mg/dL, p=0.096 and 0.43±0.34 vs. 0.53±1.0 mg/dL, p=0.589, respectively).
Conclusions: HsCRP is significantly elevated in children and adolescents with excess weight as compared to normal-weight individuals. In addition, children and adolescents with excessive weight and NAFLD show increased levels of hsCRP compared to their counterparts with normal liver.
Conflict of interest:None declared.
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein; obesity; metabolic syndrome; impaired glucose tolerance; liver disease
The negative impact of overweight (including obesity) and related treatment on children's and adolescents' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) has been shown in few specific samples thus far. We examined HRQoL and emotional well-being in overweight children from an outpatient treatment sample as well as changes of these parameters during treatment.
In a cross-sectional design, self-reported HRQoL of 125 overweight (including obese) children who contacted a treatment facility, but had not yet receive treatment, were compared to 172 children from randomly selected schools using independent two-sample t-tests. Additionally, in a longitudinal design, the overweight children were retested by administering the same questionnaire at the end of the intervention (after one year). It included measures such as the body mass index (BMI), the general health item (GHI), the KINDLR, and the Child Dynamic Health Assessment Scale (ChildDynHA). Comparisons were based on dependent t-tests and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Overweight children showed statistically significant impairment in the GHI (Cohen's d = 0.59) and emotional well-being (ChildDynha) (d = 0.33) compared to the school children. With respect to HRQoL, the friends dimension of the KINDLR was significantly impaired in the overweight group (d = 0.33). However, no impairment was found for the total HRQoL score or other KINDLR subdimensions. Regarding the longitudinal part of our study, most of the children improved their BMI, but the majority (87.5%) remained overweight. Nevertheless, the participants' perceived health, emotional well-being, and generic as well as disease-specific HRQoL improved during intervention.
The findings emphasize the importance of patient-reported outcomes such as HRQoL. Even though overweight and obesity might accompany most of the children throughout their lifetime, the impairment associated with this chronic condition can be considerably reduced. Opportunities of health promotion in overweight/obese children and adolescents are discussed.
The present study examines the secular trends in prevalence of overweight and obesity among urban Asian Indian adolescents in New Delhi (North India). The data were derived from cross-sectional sampling of children, 3493 in year 2006 and 4908 in year 2009, aged 14–17 years studying in privately-funded and government-funded schools. Age, gender and Asian Indian-specific cut offs of body mass index (BMI) were used to define overweight and obesity. The prevalence of obesity increased significantly from 9.8% in 2006 to 11.7% in 2009 (p<0.01), whereas underweight decreased from 11.3% to 3.9% (p<0.001). There was a significantly higher risk of being overweight (OR 1.28; 95% CI, 1.15–1.42) and obese (OR 1.44; 95% CI, 1.24–1.66) in year 2009 than 2006, after adjusting for age, gender and type of school. Males and privately-funded school children had significantly higher increase in prevalence and risk of being overweight and obese over the three years. In conclusion, this study showed an increasing trend in prevalence of overweight and obesity in urban Asian Indian adolescents. More specifically, the study showed the association of this increasing trend of overweight and obesity prevalence with male gender and high socio-economic status, calling for an urgent need for immediate and targeted preventive measures.
Objective To identify risk factors in early life (up to 3 years of age) for obesity in children in the United Kingdom.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting Avon longitudinal study of parents and children, United Kingdom.
Participants 8234 children in cohort aged 7 years and a subsample of 909 children (children in focus) with data on additional early growth related risk factors for obesity.
Main outcome measures Obesity at age 7 years, defined as a body mass index 3 95th centile relative to reference data for the UK population in 1990.
Results Eight of 25 putative risk factors were associated with a risk of obesity in the final models: parental obesity (both parents: adjusted odds ratio, 10.44, 95% confidence interval 5.11 to 21.32), very early (by 43 months) body mass index or adiposity rebound (15.00, 5.32 to 42.30), more than eight hours spent watching television per week at age 3 years (1.55, 1.13 to 2.12), catch-up growth (2.60, 1.09 to 6.16), standard deviation score for weight at age 8 months (3.13, 1.43 to 6.85) and 18 months (2.65, 1.25 to 5.59); weight gain in first year (1.06, 1.02 to 1.10 per 100 g increase); birth weight, per 100 g (1.05, 1.03 to 1.07); and short (< 10.5 hours) sleep duration at age 3 years (1.45, 1.10 to 1.89).
Conclusion Eight factors in early life are associated with an increased risk of obesity in childhood.
Aims: To examine the associations between being overweight and behavioural problems at ages 5 and 14.
Methods: Birth cohort study of 2875 individuals who were born in Brisbane between 1981 and 1984 and who were followed up at ages 5 and 14 years. Behavioural problems were defined as scoring above the 90th centile on Achenbach's child behavioural checklist.
Results: In cross-sectional analyses there was no association between being overweight and behavioural problems in either females at age 5. At age 14 females who were overweight were more likely than those who were normal weight to experience behavioural problems. However, there was no association between being overweight and behavioural problems at age 14 among males. The prevalence of behavioural problems increased linearly across the distribution of body mass index in females at age 14. In prospective analyses, among participants who had no behavioural problems at age 5, there was no association between being overweight at age 5 and behavioural problems at age 14 in either sex. Females who were overweight at age 5 and normal weight at age 14 had reduced odds of behavioural problems at age 14.
Conclusions: Among adolescent females there is a positive linear association between body size and behavioural problems. However, no such association was found in adolescent males, or in either sex at age 5 years, and in prospective analyses being overweight at age 5 was not associated with behavioural problems in either sex at age 14.
Objective: To assess the effect of education and economic status of parents on obesity in children.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2006 among school children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A representative sample of 1243 (542 male and 701 female) children aged 6-16 years were contacted using multistage cluster sampling strategy. Social and demographic variables were collected using questionnaires completed by parents. Height and weight of the children were recorded by a trained team.
Results: The mean body mass index for all children was 19.8±5.4. The prevalence rates of overweight and obesity were 21.1% and 12.7%, respectively. Overweight and obesity were more prevalent in males than in females. By multivariate analysis, children were more likely to be overweight if they were male (OR=0.6, p<0.01), 12 years of age (OR=3.79, p<0.01, compared to age 6 years), and if their families had higher income (OR=3.12, p<0.01, compared to families with low income). Being male (OR=0.545, p <0.01), aged 12 years (OR=3.9, p=0.005, compared to the age of 6), and having a mother who is more educated were determined to be significant risk factors for obesity in children. Mothers educated at university level were found to have a three-fold higher risk of having obese children(OR=3.4, p<0.01, compared to mothers with lower education levels).
Conclusions: Overweight and obesity among Saudi children is associated with educated mothers and higher family income. This finding calls for introducing interventions in health education for both children and parents.
Conflict of interest:None declared.
children; overweight; obesity; socioeconomic; education
According to a national reference, 15% of German children and adolescents are overweight (including obese) and 6.3% are obese. An earlier study analysed the impact of childhood overweight and obesity on different components of direct medical costs (physician, hospital and therapists). To complement the existing literature for Germany, this study aims to explore the association of body mass index (BMI) with utilisation of pharmaceuticals and related costs in German children and adolescents.
Based on data from 14, 836 respondents aged 3-17 years in the German Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), drug intake and associated costs were estimated using a bottom-up approach. To investigate the association of BMI with utilisation and costs, univariate analyses and multivariate generalised mixed models were conducted.
There was no significant difference between BMI groups regarding the probability of drug utilisation. However, the number of pharmaceuticals used was significantly higher (14%) for obese children than for normal weight children. Furthermore, there was a trend for more physician-prescribed medication in obese children and adolescents. Among children with pharmaceutical intake, estimated costs were 24% higher for obese children compared with the normal weight group.
This is the first study to estimate excess drug costs for obesity based on a representative cross-sectional sample of the child and adolescent population in Germany. The results suggest that obese children should be classified as a priority group for prevention. This study complements the existing literature and provides important information concerning the relevance of childhood obesity as a health problem.
To compare changes over time in waist circumference (a measure of central fatness) and body mass index (a measure of overall obesity) in British youth.
Representative cross sectional surveys in 1977, 1987, and 1997.
Young people aged 11-16 years surveyed in 1977 (boys) and 1987 (girls) for the British Standards Institute (n=3784) and in 1997 (both sexes) for the national diet and nutrition survey (n=776).
Main outcome measures
Waist circumference, expressed as a standard deviation score using the first survey as reference, and body mass index (weight(kg)/height(m)2), expressed as a standard deviation score against the British 1990 revised reference. Overweight and obesity were defined as the measurement exceeding the 91st and 98th centile, respectively.
Waist circumference increased sharply over the period between surveys (mean increases for boys and girls, 6.9 and 6.2 cm, or 0.84 and 1.02 SD score units, P<0.0001). In centile terms, waist circumference increased more in girls than in boys. Increases in body mass index were smaller and similar by sex (means 1.5 and 1.6, or 0.47 and 0.53 SD score units, P<0.0001). Waist circumference in 1997 exceeded the 91st centile in 28% (n=110) of boys and 38% (n=147) of girls (against 9% for both sexes in 1977-87, P<0.0001), whereas 14% (n=54) and 17% (n=68), respectively, exceeded the 98th centile (3% in 1977-87, P<0.0001). The corresponding rates for body mass index in 1997 were 21% (n=80) of boys and 17% (n=67) of girls exceeding the 91st centile (8% and 6% in 1977-87) and 10% (n=39) and 8% (n=32) exceeding the 98th centile (3% and 2% in 1977-87).
Trends in waist circumference during the past 10-20 years have greatly exceeded those in body mass index, particularly in girls, showing that body mass index is a poor proxy for central fatness. Body mass index has therefore systematically underestimated the prevalence of obesity in young people.
What is already known on this topicThe prevalence of overweight and obesity in youth based on body mass index has increased over the past 10-20 yearsBody mass index gives no indication of body fat distributionWaist circumference is a marker for central body fat accumulation; a large waist circumference is linked to an increased risk of metabolic complicationsWhat this study addsWaist circumference in British youth has increased over the past 10-20 years at a greater rate than body mass index, the increase being greatest in femalesThe accumulation of central body fat has risen more steeply than whole body fatness based on height and weightCurrent and future morbidity in British youth may be seriously affected due to accumulation of excess central fat
China has experienced an increase in the prevalence of childhood overweight/obesity over the last decades. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome among Chinese school children and determine if there is a significant association between childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1844 children (938 males and 906 females) in six elementary schools at Guangzhou city from April to June 2009. The body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, Tanner stage, lipids, insulin and glucose levels were determined. Criteria analogous to ATPIII were used for diagnosis of metabolic syndrome in children.
Among 1844 children aged 7-14 years, 205 (11.1%) were overweight, and 133 (7.2%) were obese. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 6.6% overall, 33.1% in obese, 20.5% in overweight and 2.3% in normal weight children. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that BMI (3rd quartile)(OR 3.28; 95%CI 0.35-30.56), BMI (4th quartile)(OR 17.98; 95%CI 1.75-184.34), homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) (2nd quartile) (OR2.36; 95% CI 0.46-12.09), HOMA-IR (3rd quartile) (OR 2.46; 95% CI 0.48-12.66), HOMA-IR (4th quartile) (OR3.87; 95% CI 0.72-20.71) were significantly associated with metabolic syndrome.
The current epidemic of obesity with subsequent increasing cardiovascular risk factors has constituted a threat to the health of school children in China. HOMA-IR and BMI were strong predictors of metabolic syndrome in children. Therefore, rigorous obesity prevention programs should be implemented among them.