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J Adolesc Health. 2017 Apr;60(4):460-468. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2016.11.016. Epub 2017 Jan 16.

Adolescent Weight Status: Associations With Structural and Functional Dimensions of Social Relations.

Author information

1
National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2
National Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. Electronic address: mera@si-folkesundhed.dk.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine the associations between weight status and structural and functional dimensions of social relations among 11- to 15-year-old girls and boys.

METHODS:

Analyses were based on cross-sectional data from the Danish contribution to the international Health Behavior in School-aged Children study 2010. The study population (n = 4,922) included students in the fifth, seventh, and ninth grade from a representative sample of Danish schools. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to study the associations between weight status and social relations, supported by a conceptual framework for the study of social relations.

RESULTS:

Among girls, overweight/obese weight status was associated with spending less time with friends after school compared to normal-weight status (0 days/week: odds ratio: 6.25, 95% confidence interval: 2.18-17.95, 1 day/week: 2.81, 1.02-7.77, 2 days/week: 3.27, 1.25-8.56, 3 days/week: 3.32, 1.28-8.61, and 4 days/week: 3.23, 1.17-8.92, respectively vs. 5 days/week). Among girls, overweight/obese weight status was associated with being bullied (2.62, 1.55-4.43). Among boys, overweight/obese weight status was associated with infrequent (1 to 2 days vs. every day) communication with friends through cellphones, SMS messages, or Internet (1.66, 1.03-2.67). In the full population, overweight/obese weight status was associated with not perceiving best friend as a confidant (1.59, 1.11-2.28). No associations were found between weight status and number of close same-sex and opposite-sex friends, mother/father as confidant, and perceived classmate acceptance.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study shows that overweight/obese adolescents have higher odds of numerous poor social relations than their normal-weight peers both in terms of structural and functional dimensions of social relations.

KEYWORDS:

Children and adolescents; Functional and structural social relations; Overweight and obesity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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