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J Youth Adolesc. 2011 Mar;40(3):361-72. doi: 10.1007/s10964-009-9491-z. Epub 2009 Dec 16.

A multi-level examination of the association between older social models in the school environment and overweight and obesity among younger students.

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1
Department of Population Studies and Surveillance, Cancer Care Ontario, 620 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. scott.leatherdale@cancercare.on.ca

Abstract

Few studies have examined how school characteristics are associated with obesity. The purpose of this study was to examine the student- and school-level characteristics associated with being overweight and obese among 12,049 students in grades 9 and 10 (junior students) attending 76 secondary schools in Ontario, Canada. The sample was 49.2% female and the average age was 14.7 years. Overall, 15.0% of the sample was considered overweight and 6.3% of the sample was considered obese. Multi-level regression analysis revealed significant between-school random variation for the likelihood of a junior student (grade 9 or 10) being overweight or obese. For each 1% increase in the prevalence of obese senior students (grade 11 and 12) at a school, the odds of a junior student at that school being overweight or obese increased significantly. Important student-level characteristics included physical activity, screen time sedentary behaviour (e.g., watching television), participation in varsity sports and gender. Future research should evaluate if the optimal population level impact for school-based obesity prevention programming might be achieved by targeting the schools that are putting students at the greatest risk.

PMID:
20013351
DOI:
10.1007/s10964-009-9491-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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