Longitudinal associations between family characteristics and measures of childhood obesity
- 587 Downloads
The objective of this study was to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between different family characteristics and body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) in children.
This was a prospective follow-up study conducted in Helsinki region with data collected in 2006 and 2008. The sample consisted of 550 children aged 9–11 at baseline. Children were measured and weighed by research staff, and they completed a questionnaire about their family characteristics.
More meals together with the family, more parenting practices at meals, less time home without adult company after school, and child’s perception of receiving care from mother in 2006 predicted a lower BMI in 2008 and partly a smaller increase in BMI from 2006 to 2008. Fewer associations were found to WHtR. Physical activity with either parent was not associated with BMI or WHtR.
Several family characteristics predicted child BMI and WHtR 2 years later. These results contribute new knowledge about parental influence on child weight and weight gain and should be taken into account when planning interventions on the matter.
KeywordsFamily characteristics Body mass index Children Waist-to-height ratio
We would like to thank all the schools, children, and parents for participating in the study. We would also like to thank our sources of funding: Juho Vainio foundation, Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg foundation, Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, and Medicinska understödsföreningen Liv och Hälsa.
- Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH (2000) Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey. BMJ 320:1240–1243Google Scholar
- Currie C, Nic Gabhainn S, Godeau E, Roberts C, Smith R, Currie D et al (2008) Inequalities in young people’s health: health behaviors in school children international report from the 2005/2006 survey (Health policy for children and adolescents, No. 5). World Health Organization regional office for Europe, Copenhagen Google Scholar
- De Bourdeaudhuij I, Te Velde SJ, Maes L, Perez-Rodrigo C, de Almeida MD, Brug J (2009) General parenting styles are not strongly associated with fruit and vegetable intake and social-environmental correlates among 11-year-old children in four countries in Europe. Public Health Nutr 12:259–266. doi: 10.1017/S1368980008002930 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hakanen M, Lagstrom H, Kaitosaari T, Niinikoski H, Nanto-Salonen K, Jokinen E, Sillanmaki L, Viikari J, Ronnemaa T, Simell O (2006) Development of overweight in an atherosclerosis prevention trial starting in early childhood. The STRIP study. Int J Obes (Lond) 30:618–626. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803249 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kondaki K, Grammatikaki E, Pavon DJ, Manios Y, Gonzalez-Gross M, Sjostrom M, Gottrand F, Molnar D, Moreno LA, Kafatos A, Gilbert C, Kersting M, De Henauw S (2010) Comparison of several anthropometric indices with insulin resistance proxy measures among European adolescents: The Helena study. Eur J Pediatr. doi: 10.1007/s00431-010-1322-4
- Lehto R, Ray C, Lahti-Koski M, Roos E (2010) Meal pattern and BMI in 9–11-year-old children in Finland. Public Health Nutr 1–6. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010003034
- Maccoby E, Martin J (1983) Socialization in the context of the family: parent-child interaction. In: Mussen P, Hetherington E (eds) Handbook of child psychology: volume IV. Socialization, personality, and social development, 4th edn. Wiley, Canada, pp 1–103Google Scholar
- Verzeletti C, Maes L, Santinello M, Baldassari D, Vereecken CA (2010a) Food-related family lifestyle associated with fruit and vegetable consumption among young adolescents in Belgium Flanders and the Veneto Region of Italy. Appetite 54:394–397. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.12.010 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar