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To identify possibly independent associations of perinatal, sociodemographic and lifestyle factors with childhood total and visceral body fat.
A representative sample of 2655 schoolchildren (9–13 years) participated in the Healthy Growth Study, a cross-sectional epidemiological study.
Seventy-seven primary schools in four large regions in Greece.
A sample of 1228 children having full data on total and visceral fat mass levels, as well as on anthropometric, dietary, physical activity, physical examination, socio-economic and perinatal indices, was examined.
Maternal (OR=3·03 and 1·77) and paternal obesity (OR=1·62 and 1·78), maternal smoking during pregnancy (OR=1·72 and 1·93) and rapid infant weight gain (OR=1·42 and 1·96) were significantly and positively associated with children’s increased total and visceral fat mass levels, respectively. Children’s television watching for >2 h/d (OR=1·40) and maternal pre-pregnancy obesity (OR=2·46) were associated with children’s increased total and visceral fat mass level, respectively. Furthermore, increased children’s physical activity (OR=0·66 and 0·47) were significantly and negatively associated with children’s total and visceral fat mass levels, respectively. Lastly, both father’s age >46 years (OR=0·57) and higher maternal educational level (OR=0·45) were associated with children’s increased total visceral fat mass level.
Parental sociodemographic characteristics, perinatal indices and pre-adolescent lifestyle behaviours were associated with children’s abnormal levels of total and visceral fat mass. Any future programme for childhood prevention either from the perinatal age or at late childhood should take these indices into consideration.
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.
Insulin resistance is a significant cross-point for the manifestation of several chronic diseases in children and adults. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible relationship of certain dietary patterns and breakfast consumption habits with insulin resistance in children.
A representative sample of 1912 schoolchildren (aged 9–13 years) participated in a cross-sectional epidemiological study, the Healthy Growth Study, which was initiated in May 2007 and completed in June 2009.
It was conducted in seventy-seven primary schools in four large regions in Greece.
Dietary intake, breakfast consumption, anthropometric and physical examination data, biochemical indices and socio-economic information collected from parents were assessed in all children. Principal components analysis was used to identify dietary patterns.
A dietary pattern of increased consumption of margarine, sweets (candies, lollipops, jellies, traditional fruit in heavy syrup) and savoury snacks (chips, cheese puffs and not home-made popcorn) was associated with homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR; β = 0·08, P < 0·001) in multivariate models. Children in the third tertile of this dietary pattern had a 2·51 (95 % CI 1·30, 4·90) times higher risk of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR > 3·16) than those in the first tertile. Breakfast consumption had an inverse correlation with insulin resistance, but the correlation lost its significance after adjustments for waist circumference, birth weight, parental BMI and socio-economic status.
Increased consumption of margarine, sweets and savoury snacks, which is a common dietary pattern in childhood, was positively associated with insulin resistance, while breakfast consumption had an inverse association with HOMA-IR, in schoolchildren (aged 9–13 years). Identification of dietary behaviours that might affect insulin resistance in children offers valuable advice in cardiometabolic risk prevention strategies.
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