A review of risk factors for overweight in preschool children: A policy perspective

Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, London, UK.
International Journal of Pediatric Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.03). 02/2006; 1(4):195-209. DOI: 10.1080/17477160600943351
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An increasing number of preschool children are becoming overweight. Although many risk factors have been identified for school-age children, less is known about this young age group. Ecological models have been developed to illustrate how individual characteristics, family characteristics, community-level factors, and policies may influence weight gain. We used this model to review factors that influence overweight in children, aged six months to five years, which are amenable to policy intervention in resource-rich countries. We found strong evidence for a direct association between childhood overweight and maternal prepregnancy body size, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and children's television/media use; strong evidence for an inverse relationship between breastfeeding and overweight, and moderate evidence for children's physical activity. There was limited research on community-level factors, policies and interventions. Future policies and interventions should be subject to evaluation and aim to support parents and young children to develop health-related behaviours that may prevent early childhood overweight.

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Available from: Summer Hawkins, Jun 03, 2015
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    • "A number of studies have shown that increased sedentary hours were associated with higher weight status, probably as a result of lower energy expenditure coupled with the consumption of unhealthy foods (Taveras et al., 2006; Miller et al., 2008). Sedentary behaviors in children, mainly TV viewing were associated with OWOB (Hawkins and Law, 2006; Jiang et al., 2006; Lasserre et al., 2007). For each additional hour per day of TV/video viewing, the odds ratio for BMI485th percentile was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.004–1.11) "
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    ABSTRACT: To identify modifiable risk factors for obesity among low socioeconomic status (LSES) children. Cross-sectional data were obtained from 238 4-7-year-old children and 224 mothers from LSES preschools. Anthropometric measurements were obtained; mothers were interviewed about sociodemographic characteristics, health behaviors, perceptions and beliefs. The combined prevalence of overweight and obesity (OWOB) among children was 29.8% based on the new World Health Organization (WHO) growth standard. Prevalence of OWOB (body mass index ≥25) among mothers was 51.8%. Mean age, sleeping hours, gender distribution and poverty level were similar between normal and OWOB children. Over 82% of mothers underestimated their child's weight status. Of the 62 OWOB children, 74.2% were perceived by their mothers as having 'normal weight' (NW) and 8% were perceived as 'thin'. Mothers perceived 67 out of 158 NW children (42.4%) as 'thin' (P<0.001). Mediation analysis indicated that 10% of the effect of maternal underestimation on child's OWOB may be mediated through child's daily sedentary hours (P=0.06). In a multivariable logistic-regression analysis controlling for maternal obesity, knowledge regarding breakfast's importance and child's daily sedentary hours, maternal underestimation of the child's weight status (odds ratio=7.33; 95% confidence interval (CI):2.41-22.37; P<0.0001) and parental smoking (odds ratio=3.25; 95% CI: 1.26-8.40; P=0.015) were the only significant factors associated with OWOB in LSES children. Maternal perception of child's weight status and parental smoking are associated with childhood OWOB among LSES children. These parameters can help identify children at risk for obesity. Maternal perception may be amenable to intervention.
    European journal of clinical nutrition 08/2011; 66(2):216-23. DOI:10.1038/ejcn.2011.144 · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, we need to know whether the importance of specific behaviors for the development of overweight differs between sub groups in the population. It is well established that children from families with a low socio-economic status and children with overweight parents are at increased risk to develop overweight [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. It is therefore particularly important to assess the role of behavioral risk factors specifically in these children, since they are the priority target groups for interventions to prevent and reduce overweight. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To prospectively identify behavioral risk factors for childhood overweight and to assess their relevance in high risk sub groups (children of mothers with overweight or low education). Methods. In the PIAMA birth cohort (n = 3963), questionnaire data were obtained at ages 5 and 7 on “screen time”, walking or cycling to school, playing outside, sports club membership, fast food consumption, snack consumption and soft drink consumption. Weight and height were measured at age 8 years. Results. Screen time, but none of the other hypothesized behavioral factors, was associated with overweight (aOR 1.4 (CI: 1.2–1.6)). The adjusted population attributable risk fraction for screen time > 1 hr/day was 10% in the high risk and 17% in the low risk sub groups. Conclusion. Reduction of screen time to < 1 hr/day could result in a reduction of overweight prevalence in the order of 2 percentage points in both high and low risks sub groups.
    Journal of obesity 06/2010; 2010. DOI:10.1155/2010/423296
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To use an ecological systems approach to examine individual-, family-, community- and area-level risk factors for overweight (including obesity) in 3-year-old children. Methods: A prospective nationally representative cohort study conducted in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland. Participants included 13 188 singleton children aged 3 years in the Millennium Cohort Study, born between 2000 and 2002, who had complete height/weight data. The main outcome measure was childhood overweight (including obesity) defined by the International Obesity TaskForce cut-offs for body mass index. Results: 23.0% of 3-year-old children were overweight or obese. In the fully adjusted model, primarily individual- and family-level factors were associated with early childhood overweight: birthweight z-score (adjusted odds ratio, 1.36, 95% CI 1.30 to 1.42), black ethnicity (1.41, 1.11 to 1.80) (compared with white), introduction to solid foods <4 months (1.12, 1.02 to 1.23), lone motherhood (1.32, 1.15 to 1.51), smoking during pregnancy (1-9 cigarettes daily: 1.34, 1.17 to 1.54; 10-19: 1.49, 1.26 to 1.75; 20+: 1.34, 1.05 to 1.70), parental overweight (both: 1.89, 1.63 to 2.19; father only: 1.45, 1.28 to 1.63; mother only: 1.37, 1.18 to 1.58), prepregnancy overweight (1.28, 1.14 to 1.45) and maternal employment > or =21 hours/week (1.23, 1.10 to 1.37) (compared with never worked). Breastfeeding > or =4 months (0.86, 0.76 to 0.97) (compared with none) and Indian ethnicity (0.63, 0.42 to 0.94) were associated with a decreased risk of early childhood overweight. Children from Wales were also more likely to be overweight than children from England. Conclusions: Most risk factors for early childhood overweight are modifiable or would allow at-risk groups to be identified. Policies and interventions should focus on parents and providing them with an environment to support healthy behaviours for themselves and their children.
    Journal of epidemiology and community health 02/2009; 63(2). DOI:10.1136/jech.2008.077917 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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