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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 77

Parental weight status and early adolescence body weight in association with socioeconomic factors

1 Department of Public and Community Health, University of West Attica; Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
2 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece
3 Department of Public and Community Health, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece
4 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
5 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Human Movement and Quality of Life Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Sparta, Greece
6 Department of Preschool Education, School of Education, University of Crete, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Demosthenes B Panagiotakos
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens 176 71
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_14_19

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BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity remains a major health issue. The understanding of the multifactorial nature of childhood obesity remains the cornerstone to eliminate the rising trends. This study aimed to examine the association between parental and childhood weight status, in relation to various socioeconomic (SE) factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted including 1190 children aged 10–12 years and their parents, during school years 2014–2016. Primary schools from five Greek counties (including Athens metropolitan area) were randomly selected. Parental and child data were collected through self-administered, anonymous questionnaires. Children's weight status was based on gender- and age-specific tables derived from the International Obesity Task Force body mass index (BMI) cut offs. General Linear Model (GLM), Univariate and multivariate analyses were applied. Multiple logistic regressions was used to determine the association between children and parents' weight status. RESULTS: Childhood prevalence of overweight and obesity was 25.9% (21.8% overweight and 4.1% obese), with prevalence being significantly higher in males (31.7% compared to 21.3%; P for gender differences < 0.001). The percent of overweight and obese male (34.4% and 43.1%) and female children (20.3% and 31.8%) significantly increased with paternal overweight and obesity status, respectively. The same relationship was observed between male children and maternal overweight and obesity status (43.4% and 65.7%). This was not evident among females (27% and 23.2%). Regression analysis showed a significant positive association with parental BMI, a negative association with both parental educational levels (low to high), living space, and parental age (P < 0.05, for all). Children's likelihood of being overweight or obese increased significantly with increasing parental weight status (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Parental weight status remained the most significant predictive factor for early adolescence obesity among various SE factors. Health promotion strategies should consider parental education as an effective childhood obesity preventive measure.

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