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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Food consumption, physical activity and socio-economic status related to BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio in adolescents

Sandra Abreu, Rute Santos, Carla Moreira, Paula Clara Santos, Jorge Mota, Pedro Moreira
Public Health Nutrition 2014, 17 (8): 1834-49
23870457

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between obesity and food group intakes, physical activity and socio-economic status in adolescents.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008. Cole's cut-off points were used to categorize BMI. Abdominal obesity was defined by a waist circumference at or above the 90th percentile, as well as a waist-to-height ratio at or above 0·500. Diet was evaluated using an FFQ, and the food group consumption was categorized using sex-specific tertiles of each food group amount. Physical activity was assessed via a self-report questionnaire. Socio-economic status was assessed referring to parental education and employment status. Data were analysed separately for girls and boys and the associations among food consumption, physical activity, socio-economic status and BMI, waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio were evaluated using logistic regression analysis, adjusting the results for potential confounders.

SETTING: Public schools in the Azorean Archipelago, Portugal.

SUBJECTS: Adolescents (n 1209) aged 15-18 years.

RESULTS: After adjustment, in boys, higher intake of ready-to-eat cereals was a negative predictor while vegetables were a positive predictor of overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity. Active boys had lower odds of abdominal obesity compared with inactive boys. Boys whose mother showed a low education level had higher odds of abdominal obesity compared with boys whose mother presented a high education level. Concerning girls, higher intake of sweets and pastries was a negative predictor of overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity. Girls in tertile 2 of milk intake had lower odds of abdominal obesity than those in tertile 1. Girls whose father had no relationship with employment displayed higher odds of abdominal obesity compared with girls whose father had high employment status.

CONCLUSIONS: We have found that different measures of obesity have distinct associations with food group intakes, physical activity and socio-economic status.

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