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To investigate the magnitude and country-specific differences in underestimation of children’s weight status by children and their parents in Europe and to further explore its associations with family characteristics and sociodemographic factors.
Children’s weight and height were objectively measured. Parental anthropometric and sociodemographic data were self-reported. Children and their parents were asked to comment on children’s weight status based on five-point Likert-type scales, ranging from ‘I am much too thin’ to ‘I am much too fat’ (children) and ‘My child’s weight is way too little’ to ‘My child’s weight is way too much’ (parents). These data were combined with children’s actual weight status, in order to assess underestimation of children’s weight status by children themselves and by their parents, respectively. Chi-square tests and multilevel logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the aims of the current study.
Eight European countries participating in the ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) project.
A school-based survey among 6113 children aged 10–12 years and their parents.
In the total sample, 42·9 % of overweight/obese children and 27·6 % of parents of overweight/obese children underestimated their and their children’s weight status, respectively. A higher likelihood for this underestimation of weight status by children and their parents was observed in Eastern and Southern compared with Central/Northern countries. Overweight or obese parents (OR=1·81; 95 % CI 1·39, 2·35 and OR=1·78, 95 % CI 1·22, 2·60), parents of boys (OR=1·32; 95 % CI 1·05, 1·67) and children from overweight/obese (OR=1·60; 95 % CI 1·29, 1·98 and OR=1·76; 95 % CI 1·29, 2·41) or unemployed parents (OR=1·53; 95 % CI 1·22, 1·92) were more likely to underestimate children’s weight status.
Children of overweight or obese parents, those from Eastern and Southern Europe, boys, younger children and children with unemployed parents were more likely to underestimate their actual weight status. Overweight or obese parents and parents of boys were more likely to underestimate the actual weight status of their children. In obesity prevention such underestimation may be a barrier for behavioural change.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the associations of family sociodemographic characteristics with children’s weight status and whether these potential associations are mediated by children’s breakfast habits.
A school-based survey among 10–12-year-old children was conducted in eight European countries. Children’s weight and height were measured and breakfast habits and family sociodemographic characteristics were self-reported by 5444 children and their parents. International Obesity Task Force cut-off points were used to categorize children as overweight/obese or normal weight. Mediation analyses were used to test the potential mediating effect of children’s breakfast consumption on the associations between family sociodemographic characteristics and children’s overweight/obesity.
Schools in eight European countries participating in the ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) project.
Children aged 10–12 years and their parents (n 5444).
Children’s reported daily breakfast consumption varied from 56 % in Slovenia to 92 % in Spain on weekdays and from 79 % in Greece to 93 % in Norway on weekends. Children of native parents, with both parents employed and with at least one parent having more than 14 years of education were more likely to consume breakfast daily and less likely to be overweight/obese. Finally, mediation analyses revealed that the association of parental nationality and parental educational status with children’s overweight/obesity was partially mediated by children’s daily breakfast consumption.
The study shows that the lower likelihood of being overweight/obese among 10–12-year-old children of native background and higher parental educational status was partially mediated by children’s daily breakfast consumption.
The main objective was to assess the relationship of breakfast skipping, television (TV) viewing at breakfast and breakfast without TV with weight status among parents of 10–12-year-olds in eight European countries.
A cross-sectional survey assessed breakfast eating and TV viewing at breakfast by three frequency questions and parents were categorized into: (i) breakfast skippers; (ii) breakfast with TV (TV watchers at breakfast); and (iii) breakfast without TV (breakfast eaters who do not watch TV during breakfast). Self-reported weight and height were used to categorize weight status as underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted with weight status as the dependent variable and breakfast habits as predictors, adjusting for sex, ethnicity and level of education.
The survey was conducted in 2010 in 199 primary schools across eight European countries participating in the ENERGY (EuropeaN Energy balance Research to prevent excessive weight Gain among Youth) cross-sectional study.
Parents (n 6512) of 10–12-year-olds responded to the questionnaire.
In the total study sample, with breakfast without TV as the reference group and adjusting for sex, ethnicity and level of education, the OR of being respectively overweight or obese (compared with normal weight) was 1·2 (95 % CI 1·0, 1·4) or 1·8 (95 % CI 1·5, 2·3) for breakfast skippers. The OR of being respectively underweight or obese was 0·5 (95 % CI 0·2, 0·9) or 1·4 (95 % CI 1·1, 1·8) for breakfast with TV.
Breakfast skippers were significantly more likely to be overweight and obese, and those eating breakfast while watching TV were significantly more likely to be obese and less likely to be underweight.
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