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The associations of specific school- and individual-level characteristics with obesity among primary school children in Beijing, China

  • Lan Cheng (a1) (a2), Qin Li (a1), Antje Hebestreit (a2), Yi Song (a3), Di Wang (a1), Yu Cheng (a1) and Hai-Jun Wang (a1)...



We aimed to investigate the associations between school-level characteristics and obesity among Chinese primary school children with consideration of individual-level characteristics.


This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2015/2016. School-level characteristics were assessed using an interviewer-administered school questionnaire, and a ‘school-based obesity prevention index’ was further developed. Individual-level characteristics were collected by self-administered questionnaires. Objectively measured height and weight of students were collected, and obesity status was classified according to the International Obesity Task Force criteria for Asian children. Generalised linear mixed models were used to estimate the associations among the school- and individual-level characteristics and obesity of students.


Thirty-seven primary schools from an urban and a rural district of Beijing, China.


School staffs, 2201 students and their parents.


The school-based obesity prevention index involved the number of health professionals, availability of students’ health records, monitoring students’ nutrition status, frequency of health education activities, reporting achievements of obesity prevention activities to parents, duration of physical activity during school time and availability of playground equipment. The prevalence of obesity was lower in schools with the higher index value compared with that in schools with the lower index value (OR 0·56; 95 % CI 0·40, 0·79). Some individual-level characteristics were negatively associated with childhood obesity: liking sports, duration of screen time ≤2 h/d, perceived lower eating speed, parental non-overweight/obesity.


Irrespective of individual-level characteristics, the specific school-level characteristics had a cumulative effect on obesity among Chinese primary school children. Further school-based obesity intervention should consider these characteristics simultaneously.


Corresponding author

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The associations of specific school- and individual-level characteristics with obesity among primary school children in Beijing, China

  • Lan Cheng (a1) (a2), Qin Li (a1), Antje Hebestreit (a2), Yi Song (a3), Di Wang (a1), Yu Cheng (a1) and Hai-Jun Wang (a1)...


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