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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 101, Issue 5, pp 365–368 | Cite as

Prevention Potential of Risk Factors for Childhood Overweight

  • Stefan Kuhle
  • Alexander C. Allen
  • Paul J. VeugelersEmail author
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Background

In order to better target prevention initiatives for the obesity epidemic in Canada, policy-makers, in addition to information about risk factors, require an understanding of the preventive potential which is best provided by the risk factor’s population attributable risk fraction (PARF).

Objective

To estimate the PARF for childhood overweight risk factors as identified by a population-based study of elementary schoolchildren in Nova Scotia.

Methods

Population-based survey data of Grade 5 students who participated in the 2003 Children’s Lifestyle and School Performance Study in Nova Scotia, Canada, were linked to a provincial perinatal registry. PARFs were calculated from a parsimonious multilevel logistic regression model.

Results

Physical activity, sedentary activity, maternal smoking during pregnancy, and maternal pre-pregnancy weight were considered potentially preventable. Sedentary activity (as estimated from time spent viewing TV, computers and video games or “screen time”) and maternal pre-pregnancy weight appeared to offer the greatest potential for prevention. In total, approximately 40% of overweight in childhood could potentially be prevented.

Conclusion

Excess screen time and maternal pre-pregnancy weight offer the greatest potential for prevention of childhood overweight at 11 years of age.

Key words

Obesity child prevention population attributable risk public health physical activity nutrition 

Résumé

Contexte

Pour mieux cibler les initiatives de prévention de l’épidémie d’obésité au Canada, les décideurs, en plus d’informations sur les facteurs de risque, ont besoin de connaître leur potentiel préventif, qui s’obtient idéalement par la fraction étiologique du risque (FER).

Objectifs

Estimer la FER pour les facteurs de risque de surpoids de l’enfant dans une étude représentative menée auprès d’élèves du primaire en Nouvelle-Écosse, au Canada.

Méthode

Les données d’une enquête représentative sur le mode de vie et les résultats scolaires d’élèves de 5e année ont été liées à un registre périnatal provincial. Les FER ont été calculées selon un modèle de régression logistique parcimonieuse multiniveaux.

Résultats

L’activité physique, la sédentarité, le tabagisme maternel pendant la grossesse et le poids maternel avant la grossesse ont été jugés potentiellement évitables. La sédentarité (estimée d’après le temps passé devant la télévision, l’ordinateur et les jeux vidéo, ou « temps d’écran ») et le poids maternel avant la grossesse semblaient présenter le meilleur potentiel préventif. En tout, on pourrait prévenir environ 40 % du surpoids de l’enfant.

Conclusion

L’abus d’écran et le poids maternel avant la grossesse sont les facteurs qui présentent le meilleur potentiel de prévention du surpoids à 11 ans.

Mots clés

obésité enfant prévention fraction étiologique du risque; santé publique activité physique nutrition 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Kuhle
    • 1
  • Alexander C. Allen
    • 2
  • Paul J. Veugelers
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Public Health, Population Health Intervention Research UnitUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.Division of Neonatal-Perinatal MedicineDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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