JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Risk factors for overweight in 2- to 6-year-old children in Beijing, China

Jingxiong Jiang, Urban Rosenqvist, Huishan Wang, Ted Greiner, Yi Ma, André Michael Toschke
International Journal of Pediatric Obesity: IJPO 2006, 1 (2): 103-8
17907322

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of overweight among Chinese preschool children and to explore risk factors of childhood obesity focusing on parental characteristics, feeding practice and lifestyle.

METHODS: Data on 930 families with 2- to 6-year-old children in five kindergartens were obtained in a cross sectional study. Families were randomly selected from two of all six urban districts in Beijing, China. Information on parental characteristics, dietary habits, lifestyle habits, and feeding practice was collected by parental self-report questionnaires. The children's stature and weight were measured in light clothing and without shoes. Overweight and obesity were defined according to international cut-off values, as proposed by the International Obesity Task Force. Multivariate regression analysis was used to explore risk factors of child overweight.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 10.7% and 4.2%, respectively, and increased with age. The prevalence of child overweight was 14.1% and 7.5% in obese and non-obese families, respectively. Significant associations were observed between child and parent characteristics for overweight, frequency of eating in restaurant, television hours, and hours of physical activity. Child overweight was associated with parental overweight (Odds Ratio [OR] 2.43, 95% CI 0.78, 6.59), low maternal education level (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.39, 3.55), food restriction (OR 2.68, 95% CI 1.64, 4.29), and television watching >2h/d (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.17, 2.09), after adjusting for sex, age, family income and kindergarten (for cluster study design).

CONCLUSIONS: Overweight prevalence among Chinese preschool children in Beijing is comparable to some European countries. Prevention strategies should include identified lifestyle risk factors.

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