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Int J Public Health. 2012 Jun;57(3):495-503. doi: 10.1007/s00038-011-0281-5. Epub 2011 Aug 4.

Longitudinal associations between family characteristics and measures of childhood obesity.

Author information

1
Folkhälsan Research Center, Paasikivenkatu 4, 00250, Helsinki, Finland. Reetta.lehto@folkhalsan.fi

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The objective of this study was to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between different family characteristics and body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in children.

METHODS:

This was a prospective follow-up study conducted in Helsinki region with data collected in 2006 and 2008. The sample consisted of 550 children aged 9-11 at baseline. Children were measured and weighed by research staff, and they completed a questionnaire about their family characteristics.

RESULTS:

More meals together with the family, more parenting practices at meals, less time home without adult company after school, and child's perception of receiving care from mother in 2006 predicted a lower BMI in 2008 and partly a smaller increase in BMI from 2006 to 2008. Fewer associations were found to WHtR. Physical activity with either parent was not associated with BMI or WHtR.

CONCLUSIONS:

Several family characteristics predicted child BMI and WHtR 2 years later. These results contribute new knowledge about parental influence on child weight and weight gain and should be taken into account when planning interventions on the matter.

PMID:
21814847
DOI:
10.1007/s00038-011-0281-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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