Danish children born to parents with lower levels of education are more likely to become overweight

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Abstract

AIM:
Little is known about whether the socio-economic status of parents is linked to their children becoming overweight. This study examined the association between parents' educational level and overweight Danish children in a nationally representative sample.
METHODS:
Body mass index was calculated for a random sample of 512 children aged from four to 14 from the Danish National Survey of Diet and Physical Activity 2005-2008. Their parents provided weight and height data during an interview, together with details of their own educational level. Children were classified as overweight/obese in accordance with the International Obesity Task Force. Frequency estimates of prevalence and logistic regression models were used to correlate childhood overweight/obesity with the mothers' and fathers' educational levels as the main outcome measures.
RESULTS:
Danish mothers tended to be more highly educated than fathers and their educational level was inversely associated with their child being overweight, especially if it was a boy. However, the highest educational level of the parents was the only significant educational variable, suggesting that education was associated with overweight children irrespective of the gender of the parent.
CONCLUSION:
Public health initiatives should target parents with low educational levels to prevent, and reduce, social inequality in overweight children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Paediatrica
Volume103
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1083-1088
Number of pages6
ISSN0803-5253
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Childhood obesity
  • Scandinavia
  • Maternal education
  • Paternal education
  • Socio-economic status

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Social inequality in obesity and the obesity epidemic for children: A review

Anders Stockmarr (Speaker)

26 Jan 2015

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