Factors associated with overweight in children in Rasht, Iran: gender, maternal education, skipping breakfast and parental obesity

Moshen Maddah, Bahareh Nikooyeh
Public Health Nutrition 2010, 13 (2): 196-200

OBJECTIVE: The present study aimed to investigate the determinants of overweight and obesity among 6- to 11-year-old schoolchildren in Rasht, Iran.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. Data on age, weekly frequency of skipping breakfast, physical activity and hours of television viewing were collected. Information on birth weight, parental age, parental educational levels, parental weight and height, and mother's employment status were gathered through self-administrated questionnaires given to the parents.

SETTING: Elementary schools in Rasht.

SUBJECTS: A total of 6635 children (3551 boys and 3084 girls) attending elementary schools in Rasht were studied.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of overweight was 11.5 % and 15.0 % for boys and girls, respectively; while the overall prevalence of obesity was 5.0 % and 5.9 %, respectively. Children with more educated mothers had a higher prevalence of overweight than children with less educated mothers. Logistic regression analysis showed that children with overweight/obese parents, children with more educated mothers and children who often skipped breakfast were more prone to overweight and obesity.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that overweight and obesity is a public health concern in this age group in Rasht. The observed sex and social differences in the prevalence of overweight and obesity call for policy makers' attention.

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