Author(s): Al Alwan , Al Fattani A, Longford N
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of education and economic status of parents on obesity in children. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2006 among school children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A representative sample of 1243 (542 male and 701 female) children aged 6-16 years were contacted using multistage cluster sampling strategy. Social and demographic variables were collected using questionnaires completed by parents. Height and weight of the children were recorded by a trained team. RESULTS: The mean body mass index for all children was 19.8±5.4. The prevalence rates of overweight and obesity were 21.1\% and 12.7\%, respectively. Overweight and obesity were more prevalent in males than in females. By multivariate analysis, children were more likely to be overweight if they were male (OR=0.6, p<0.01), 12 years of age (OR=3.79, p<0.01, compared to age 6 years), and if their families had higher income (OR=3.12, p<0.01, compared to families with low income). Being male (OR=0.545, p<0.01), aged 12 years (OR=3.9, p=0.005, compared to the age of 6), and having a mother who is more educated were determined to be significant risk factors for obesity in children. Mothers educated at university level were found to have a three-fold higher risk of having obese children(OR=3.4, p<0.01, compared to mothers with lower education levels). CONCLUSIONS: Overweight and obesity among Saudi children is associated with educated mothers and higher family income. This finding calls for introducing interventions in health education for both children and parents.
This article was published in J Clin Res Pediatr Endocrinol
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy