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Paediatr Child Health. 2014 Aug;19(7):e113-6.

Sex disparity and perception of obesity/overweight by parents and grandparents.

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Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People's Republic of China;
The Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People's Republic of China;
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology Program, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario;
Nursing School of Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, People's Republic of China.


in English, French


To explore the factors associated with the sex disparity showing a greater prevalence of obesity/overweight in boys compared with girls in Chinese school children.


Sampled students and their parents were asked to complete a questionnaire. Perceptions of weight status by the parents, grandparents and children themselves were collected. A logistic regression analysis was used.


The sampled students included 327 obese/overweight students and 1078 students with normal body mass index (BMI). The crude OR of obesity/overweight for boys compared with girls was 1.57 (95% CI 1.22 to 2.01). The increased risk of childhood obesity/overweight for boys remained after adjustment for prenatal and infant factors, daily habits and family situation, but disappeared after adjustment for perception of weight status (OR 1.27 [95% CI 0.93 to 1.67]). There were differences in underestimation of children's weight status between boys and girls by their parents and grandparents (OR 1.33 [95% CI 1.08 to 1.64] and OR 1.42 [95% CI 1.15 to 1.75], respectively).


Misconceptions about a child's weight status were prevalent among parents and grandparents, and boys' weight status was more frequently underestimated than girls. The disparity of underestimating weight according to sex may partially contribute to the difference in the prevalence of obesity/overweight between boys and girls among Chinese school children.


Children; Obesity; Overweight; Perception; Prevalence; Sex

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