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The purpose of this study was to establish the prevalence and associated factors of underweight and overweight among
children and adolescents in rural and urban areas of Hubei province.
We used a cross-sectional study design comprising of 3182 school children and adolescents with an age range of
9-18years. Self-administered questionnaires were used to obtain nutritional data from the subjects and their parents. Weight
and height were obtained for each child and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. The prevalence of overweight and obesity
was then determined using the WHO (2007) age and gender-specific body mass index (BMI) cutoffs. Data were analyzed using
univariate and logistic multiple regression.
The overall prevalence of underweight and overweight among the subjects was 21.4% (682) and 14.7% (468) respectively,
( P>0.001).The prevalence of underweight was 16.1% (205) in the urban versus 25% (477) in the rural and overweight was 67.9%
(866) in the urban versus 61.2% (1166) in the rural (P < 0.001). The mean BMI among the subjects was 19.209 kg/m
students versus 18.731kg/m
for rural students P < 0.001). No significant difference was found in overall mean BMI between
male and female students (p=0.105). Binary logistic regression revealed that family history of obesity and economic status were
protective factors for underweight. Eating habit was found to be a protective factor for overweight. Parent?s education, family
history of obesity, family income and economic status were associated with overweight.
Underweight and overweight co-exist among children and adolescent in both rural and urban settings with
overweight more prevalent in urban and underweight in rural. Socio-demographic factors such as parent?s education, family
history of obesity, family income and economic status are associated with nutritional status of children and adolescents.
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