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Arch Hellen Med, 33(3), May-June 2016, 375-385


Determinants of obesity in children aged 10–15 years

D. Fragkou,1 P. Galanis,2 P. Pantelidis1
1Department of Economics, University of Pireus, Pireus,
2Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece

OBJECTIVE To estimate the prevalence of obesity in children aged 10–15 years and investigate its determinants.

METHOD A cross-sectional study was conducted on 306 children aged 10–15 years in elementary and secondary schools in Larissa. Data collection took place during May 2015. The response rate was 86.9% (306/352). The children were classified as underweight, normal (healthy weight), overweight and obese according to body mass index (BMI), age and gender. The determinants studied were demographic characteristics, TV watching, personal computer use, internet use, physical activity, nutritional habits, sleeping habits and attitudes towards diet issues. Data analysis included x2 test, x2 trend test, t test, Mann-Whitney test and multivariate logistic regression analysis and was performed with the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM SPSS), version 21.0.

RESULTS Of the study children 50% were females and their mean age was 12.68 years and mean BMI 18.51 kg/m2; 77.5% of the children were classified as normal, 12.1% overweight, 10.1% underweight and 0.3% obese. Specifically, 19.6% of the males and 4.6% of the females were overweight, while 0.6% of the females and none of males were obese. Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified a greater likelihood of being overweight/obese among males (odds ratio [OR]=3.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.51 to 8.31, p=0.004), children with a TV set in their room (OR=2.73, 95% CI=1.26 to 5.92, p=0.011) and children who used personal computer/video games machines/mobiles/tablet (OR=3.24, 95% CI=1.42 to 7.37, p=0.005).

CONCLUSIONS Gender, TV in the child's room and increased use of personal computer/video games machines/mobiles/ tablet was associated with overweight/obesity in schoolchildren. Identification of the determinants of obesity in childhood is necessary for the development and application of appropriate health policies.

Key words: Body mass index, Children, Determinants, Obesity, Prevalence.

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