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Public Health Nutr. 2007 Sep;10(9):927-38. Epub 2007 Feb 19.

Obesity and related risk factors among low socio-economic status minority students in Chicago.

Author information

  • 1Center for Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess overweight and related risk factors among urban low socio-economic status (SES) African-American adolescents in an attempt to study the underlying causes of ethnicity and gender disparities in overweight.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional data collected on anthropometric measures, diet, physical activity and family characteristics from 498 students in grades 5-7 in four Chicago public schools were analysed to study the risk factors for overweight using stepwise regression analysis.

RESULTS:

Only 37.2% of the students lived with two parents. Nearly 90% had a television (TV) in their bedroom, and had cable TV and a video game system at home. Overall. 21.8% (17.7% boys versus 25.1% girls) were overweight (body mass index (BMI) >/= 95th percentile); and 39.8% had a BMI >/= 85th percentile. Compared with national recommendations, they had inadequate physical activity and less than desirable eating patterns. Only 66.1% reported having at least 20 min vigorous exercise or 30 min of light exercise in >/= 5 days over the past 7 days; 62.1% spent >3 h days- 1 watching TV/playing video games/computer, while 33.1% spent >/= 5 h days- 1. Their vegetable and fruit consumption was low, and they consumed too many fried foods and soft drinks: 55.1% consumed fried food twice or more daily and 19.5% four times or more daily; 70.3% consumed soft drinks twice or more daily and 22.0% four times or more daily on average. Gender, physical activity and pocket money were significant predictors of overweight (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Several factors in the students' behaviours, school and family environments may increase overweight risk among this population. There is a great need for health promotion programmes with a focus on healthy weight and lifestyle, and targeting urban low-SES minority communities.

PMID:
17381954
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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