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Given the rapid increase in the prevalence of childhood obesity, identifying the sociodemographic influences on obesity status is important for planning and implementing effective prevention initiatives. However, this type of data is limited for Greek children. Therefore the aim of the present study was to identify possible sociodemographic factors associated with childhood obesity at the national level.
Cross-sectional, population-based survey, carried out from October to May 2009.
Under the context of the GRECO (Greek Childhood Obesity) study, a nationwide sample of 2315 primary-school children.
Children aged 10–12 years and their parents were voluntarily enrolled. Direct anthropometric measurements of the children were obtained and information on sociodemographic characteristics of the parents, as well as their self-reported values of body weight and height, were collected.
Overweight and obesity prevalence was 29·5 % and 13·1 %, respectively, among boys; 29·5 % and 9·0 %, respectively, among girls. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the most important sociodemographic predictors of childhood obesity were mother's age, parental BMI classification and father's type of occupation. More specifically, increased mother's age and normal BMI status of the parents seemed to have a protective effect on the likelihood of having an overweight/obese child. Additionally, the odds of a female child of being overweight/obese were reduced when the father's type of occupation tended to be less manual.
Anti-obesity health policy interventions have to address to the parents and promote their active involvement, to effectively confront the alarming magnitude of the paediatric obesity problem in Greece.
To evaluate time trends in the availability of soft drinks, to identify food choices associated with their consumption and to assess the relationship between socio-economic status and daily soft drink availability in a wide range of European countries.
Data on food and beverage availability collected through the national household budget surveys and harmonized in the DAFNE (Data Food Networking) project were used. Averages and variability of soft drink availability were estimated and tests for time trends were performed. The daily availability of food groups which appear to be correlated with that of soft drinks was further estimated. Multivariate logistic and linear regression models were applied to evaluate the association between socio-economic status and the acquisition of soft drinks.
Twenty-four European countries.
Nationally representative samples of households.
The availability of soft drinks is steadily and significantly increasing. Households in West and North Europe reported higher daily availability of soft drinks in comparison to other European regions. Soft drinks were also found to be correlated with lower availability of plant foods and milk and higher availability of meat and sugar products. Lower socio-economic status was associated with more frequent and higher availability of soft drinks in the household.
Data collected in national samples of twenty-four European countries showed disparities in soft drink availability among socio-economic strata and European regions. The correlation of soft drinks with unfavourable dietary choices has public health implications, particularly among children and adolescents.
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