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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2007 Jan-Feb;39(1):31-6.

Food insecurity and gender are risk factors for obesity.

Author information

  • 1Center for Public Health and Health Policy, University of Connecticut, East Hartford, CT 06108, USA. katie.martin@uconn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Examine relationships between adult obesity, childhood overweight, and food insecurity.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional retrospective study.

SETTING:

Community settings in Hartford, Connecticut.

PARTICIPANTS:

Convenience sample of 200 parents and their 212 children, aged 2-12.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Adult obesity (Body Mass Index [BMI] > 30), childhood overweight (BMI-for-age > 95(th) percentile), and household food security (U.S. Department of Agriculture module).

ANALYSIS:

Chi-square tests between weight status and socioeconomic characteristics. Multinomial regression analyses to determine risk factors for adult obesity and childhood overweight.

RESULTS:

Over half of parents (51%) were obese, and almost one-third of children (31.6%) were overweight. Over half of households were food insecure. Food insecure adults were significantly more likely to be obese as those who were food secure (Odds Ratio [OR]=2.45, p = .02). Being a girl and having an obese parent doubled the likelihood of children being overweight (OR=2.56, P = .01; OR=2.32, P = .03). Children with family incomes below 100% of poverty were half as likely to be overweight as those with higher incomes (OR=.47, P = .05). Food insecurity did not increase odds of childhood overweight.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

Obesity prevention programs and policies need to address food insecurity and gender as key risk factors.

PMID:
17276325
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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