Relationship between obesity/overweight status, sugar consumption and dental caries among adolescents in South India

T Honne, K Pentapati, N Kumar, S Acharya
International Journal of Dental Hygiene 2012, 10 (4): 240-4

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relationship between obesity/overweight status, sugar consumption and dental caries among adolescents in Udupi District, India.

METHODS: Study population consisted of 463 school children aged between 13 and 15 years. Information on age, sex, type of school attending and frequency of sugar consumption per day was recorded by a structured self-administered questionnaire. Body mass index (BMI) (height in metres and weight in kilograms) and caries measurements (DMFT) were taken by a trained recorder according to standard criteria.

RESULTS: Majority of the children were having low normal weight, with 18.6% in overweight and 3.5% in obese groups. There was a significant difference in the frequency of sugar consumption between the BMI groups. Obese group of children had more caries than the overweight and low-normal-weight children. Correlation analysis showed significant positive relation with BMI, decayed teeth and DMFT. Regression analysis showed that caries experience had a significant association with male sex (OR = 2.09, CI = 1.01-4.33), overweight/obese (OR = 3.68, CI = 1.79-7.56) and frequency of sugar consumption more than once per day (OR = 3.13, CI = 1.25-7.85).

CONCLUSION: There was a significant association between overweight/obesity and caries experience among school children of Udupi District. Obesity and dental caries have common risk determinants and require a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to paediatric patients by both medical and dental healthcare professionals.

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