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J Nutr. 2009 Feb;139(2):370-6. doi: 10.3945/jn.108.098111. Epub 2008 Dec 23.

Overweight is more prevalent than stunting and is associated with socioeconomic status, maternal obesity, and a snacking dietary pattern in school children from Bogota, Colombia.

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Department of Nutrition and 4Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of overweight in school-aged children from Bogotá, Colombia and to examine its associations with sociodemographic characteristics, dietary patterns, and indicators of physical activity. We measured height and weight in 3075 children between 5 and 12 y of age who attended public primary schools in 2006 and we obtained information on maternal sociodemographic and anthropometric characteristics. The survey was representative of children from low and middle socioeconomic backgrounds. The prevalences of child overweight (including obesity) and obesity according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria were 11.1 and 1.8%, respectively. The prevalence of stunting was 9.8%. In multivariate analysis, child overweight was positively associated with indicators of higher socioeconomic status (SES), including low maternal parity and ownership of household assets. The prevalence of overweight was 3.6 times greater in children whose mothers were obese compared with children whose mothers had an adequate BMI (adjusted prevalence ratio = 3.61; 95% CI = 2.64, 4.93). Child overweight was positively associated with adherence to a "snacking" dietary pattern (P-trend = 0.06) and to frequent intake of hamburgers or hot dogs (adjusted prevalence ratio for at least once per week vs. never = 1.93; 95% CI = 1.03, 3.62), independent of total energy intake and other potential confounders. Time spent viewing television or playing outside the household were not significantly related to the prevalence of child overweight. In conclusion, child overweight in Bogotá is more common than stunting and is associated with higher SES, maternal obesity, and a snacking dietary pattern.

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