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J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jul;21(7):641-9.

Association between school children's overweight and maternal obesity and perception of their children's weight status.

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  • 1Durand Hospital of Buenos Aires, Argentina.



To determine the association between overweight children and a) other components of the mothers' metabolic syndrome, such as body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, HOMA-IR, blood pressure (BP), and age; and b) the mothers' perception of their children's overweight.


Six hundred and twenty children (297 M) aged 9 +/- 2 years and their mothers aged 37.7 +/- 7 years were examined between April and August 2006. BMI, BP, fasting glucose and lipids and children's Tanner stage were determined. Questionnaires were filled in about the mothers' perceptions of their children's eating habits and of their children's shape.


Ninety-five (17.4%) of the children were obese (> 95th percentile), 108 (15.3%) overweight (> 85th percentile) and 418 (67.3%) normal. One hundred and twelve (18%) of the mothers were obese and 183 (29.5%) overweight. Mean values for measures in mothers differed between normal vs overweight/obese children: z-BMI (-0.19 vs 0.42), triglycerides (84 vs 105 mg/dl), cholesterol (147 vs 157 mg/dl), glucose (78 vs 82 mg/dl) and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR 1.34 vs 1.72). There were significant differences in the proportion with distorted perception of shape (2.2% vs 47.5%) and eating habits (11.2% vs 37%) between mothers of normal versus overweight/ obese children. Logistic regression analysis using BMI > or = 85th percentile as the dependent variable showed that the mothers' perceptions of their children's shape (OR: 18.84; 95% CI: 5.0-69.6), eating habits (OR: 3.82; 95% CI: 1.5-9.5) and mothers' BMI (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3-3.4) were associated with children's overweight.


There was an association between mothers' distorted perception of their children's shape and eating habits and mothers' obesity and their children's overweight. This observation provides clues for obesity prevention programs.

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