Socio-economic, familial and perinatal factors associated with obesity in Sydney schoolchildren
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 48, Issue 1, pages 44–51, January 2012
How to Cite
Gopinath, B., Baur, L. A., Burlutsky, G., Robaei, D. and Mitchell, P. (2012), Socio-economic, familial and perinatal factors associated with obesity in Sydney schoolchildren. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48: 44–51. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02181.x
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2011
- Accepted for publication 27 February 2011.
- Sydney Childhood Eye Study.
Aim: To examine associations between socio-economic, familial and perinatal factors with overweight/obesity in 6- and 12-year-old schoolchildren.
Methods: Eligible year-1 (1765/2238, mean age 6.7 years) and year-7 students (2353/3144, mean age, 12.7 years) from a random cluster sample of 55 Sydney schools were examined during 2003–2005. Height, weight and body mass index were measured. Overweight or obesity was classified using International Obesity Task Force cut points. Information about each child's socio-demographic status, familial and perinatal information was sought in parental questionnaires.
Results: After multivariate adjustment, lower parental education was significantly associated with prevalent overweight and obesity in 6-year-old children, odds ratio (OR) 1.52 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.15–2.01) and OR 2.16 (CI 1.34–4.13), respectively. Smoking during pregnancy was associated with a higher likelihood of being obese among both 6- and 12-year-old children, OR 1.90 (CI 1.05–3.46) and OR 1.78 (CI 1.22–2.61). Population attributable risk estimates indicate that 14.9% and 10.1% of prevalent cases of obesity in 12-year-old children may be attributable to being: an only child or a heavy newborn, respectively.
Conclusions: We show interdependent relationships between socio-economic, familial and perinatal factors and childhood weight status. Improved understanding of these pathways may help in developing childhood obesity prevention strategies.