European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 2249–2260 | Cite as

Dietary iron intake and availability are related to maternal education level in overweight/obese adolescents

  • Chaleelak Thongprasert
  • Carol Hutchinson
  • Warapone Satheannoppakao
  • Mathuros Tipayamongkholgul
Original Contribution



To compare intakes of dietary iron and enhancers and inhibitors of iron absorption between overweight/obese (OW/OB) adolescents and their normal weight (NW) peers, and between parental education levels stratified by weight status.


This was a comparative cross-sectional study of adolescents (n 121 OW/OB and n 102 NW) aged 12–14 years, attending a secondary school in Nonthaburi province, Thailand. Socio-demographic data were obtained from participants’ parents using a questionnaire. Participants recorded their intakes for 3 non-consecutive days, using a prospective food record.


Compared with NW adolescents, OW/OB adolescents consumed more total protein and animal protein after adjustment for energy intake (both p = 0.047). OW/OB adolescents whose mothers were less educated consumed more total iron and available iron after adjustment for energy intake, compared with their OW/OB peers whose mothers were more educated (p = 0.045 and p = 0.040). NW adolescents with more highly educated mothers had higher absolute and energy-adjusted fibre intakes (both p = 0.047). However, NW adolescents of mothers with a high–intermediate level of education consumed less calcium, after adjustment for energy intake (p = 0.028).


OW/OB adolescents with less educated mothers had higher energy-adjusted intakes of iron and available iron. Dietary differences in OW/OB adolescents relative to maternal education, and other socioeconomic indicators, should be explored in a nationally representative data set.


Iron Enhancer Inhibitor Adolescent Overweight/obese Parental education 



We thank the students and staff of Triamudomsakkapatanakran Nonthaburi School for their patience and kind cooperation. We also thank Kesorn Kamlanghan, Laddawan Chalajit, Benjaporn Pudsa, Vorathon Pomyen, Nittaya Boonnumma, Prodpran Tasiri, Sirada Klinchuen, Poonsiri Rittiron, Pachsiree Lhaothong, Arporn Thummanitayakul, Pattraporn Somsri. and Kannika Tangmanjitjaroen for assisting with data collection and entry.

Author contributions

CH and WS formulated the research questions. CH designed the study, with contributions from WS and MT. CT was the primary data collector. CT and WS developed the food portion size booklet and performed dietary data analysis. CT and MT carried out statistical analysis. CH wrote the manuscript, with contributions from CT. WS and MT provided comments on the content of the manuscript, which contributed to the revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

This study was conducted according to the guidelines in the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Ethical Review Committee for Human Research, Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Financial support

This study was funded by the China Medical Board of New York (CMB), Faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand (Grant number 03/2556). The funder did not contribute to the study design, conduct of the study, analysis of samples or data, interpretation of findings, or the preparation, review, and approval of the manuscript.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 374 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 31 kb)
394_2017_1501_MOESM4_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 29 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Public HealthMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public HealthMahidol UniversityBangkokThailand

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