Parental obesity influence on body mass index of children: a cross sectional study

Chaitanya R. Patil, Sushama S. Thakre, Subhash B. Thakre, Prithvi B. Petkar


Background: Childhood obesity is a serious public health concern in both developed and developing countries. The children share food habits, physical activity habits etc. with their parents either in term of genetic or environmental influences, which affects the body mass index of the children. The objective of this study was to study the association of parental overweight/obesity with overweight/obesity in the children.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a government aided school in Nagpur during January 2016 to April 2016. Data was collected by a self-administered questionnaire which had information regarding the socio demographic characteristics like age, sex, socio economic status etc. Anthropometric measurements like height and weight of the children and their parents were measured. Necessary permissions were sought before the start of the study.

Results: We found a significant association (p<0.01) between the obesity and overweight status of father and mother with the body mass index of their children with an odds ratio of 2.49 (1.69 to 3.66) and 2.90 (1.98 to 4.25) respectively. If both the parents are overweight/obese then the odds of their being overweight/obese is 3.00 (1.93-4.68). If either of parents is overweight/ obese, then the odds ratio is 3.10 (2.12-4.54).

Conclusions: Stronger and significant associations were found between the overweight and obesity of the parents and their children. A significantly positive correlation was found between the body mass index of parents and body mass index of their children.


Association, Body mass index, Parental obesity

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