Parent-reported appetite of a child and the child's weight status over a 2-year period in Korean children

Kayoung Lee, Yun-Mi Song
Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2007, 107 (4): 678-80
This study sought to examine the association between the parent-reported appetite of a child and the child's weight status after 2 years. The design was a 2-year prospective study. A total of 531 Korean children aged 11 to 12 years were followed up for change in weight status (persistent overweight, persistent nonoverweight, recently overweight, recently nonoverweight) between 2001 and 2003 after the measurement of their appetite (low, moderate, and high) using a questionnaire administered to their parents in 2001. Weight status of each child was determined based on the criteria of body mass index (BMI) recommended by the International Obesity Task Force reference. The statistical analyses performed were multiple logistic regression analysis with adjustment for parental factors (parents' weight and height, education level, and income) and the child's characteristics (baseline BMI, physical activity, and television viewing). Main outcome measures were child's mean BMI and weight status, and the proportions of overweight children at the baseline and at the end of the follow-up were greater among those children whose parents reported that they had high appetites (P<0.001). Compared with the children with a low appetite, the odds ratio for overweight at the end of follow-up was 3.7 (95% confidence interval 1.2 to 11.7) in children with a high appetite. Subgroup analysis of overweight children at baseline showed that the risk of being persistently overweight over the 2-year follow-up was 5.5 times (95% confidence interval 1.1 to 27.5) higher in children with a high appetite than in those with a low appetite. There was a strong association between the parent-reported appetite of a child and being overweight after 2 years. Identifying children with higher appetites and targeting them for lifestyle modification may provide an effective way of reducing the incidence of childhood overweight.

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