Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 1515–1523 | Cite as

Association of dental caries and weight status in 6- to 7-year-old Filipino children

  • Roswitha Heinrich-Weltzien
  • Bella Monse
  • Habib Benzian
  • Joachim Heinrich
  • Katrin Kromeyer-Hauschild
Original Article



The aims of the study were (1) to assess in 6- to 7-year-old Filipino children caries prevalence and experience and the weight status and (2) to investigate the association between dental caries and weight status.

Materials and methods

Dental and anthropometric examinations were conducted on 1,962 6- to 7-year-old children during the National Oral Health Survey in 2005–2006. Dental caries assessments were carried out using World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria (1997). Weight status was assessed with body mass index according to WHO growth reference. A multivariable logistic regression model was applied to investigate the effect of dental caries and sociodemographic variables on the children’s weight status.


Caries prevalence was 96.8 % in primary and 39.7 % in permanent teeth, and caries experience was 8.4 dmft and 0.6 DMFT. Of the children, 17.8 % were underweight, 73.0 % had normalweight, 6.0 % were overweight and 3.2 % were obese. Girls had a lower risk of being underweight than boys odds ratios (OR) 0.70, confidence interval (CI) 0.55–0.88. Children living in rural areas and with no television at home were more likely to be underweight (OR 1.36, CI 1.07–1.72; OR 1.37, CI 1.07–1.76, respectively). Fewer primary and permanent teeth were risk factors for being underweight (OR 0.93, CI 0.92–0.95; OR 0.90, CI 0.89–0.94, respectively).


Underweight was associated stronger with demographic and socioeconomic conditions than with dental variables. However, underweight and dental caries are public health issues of high priority affecting children at an important phase of their development.

Clinical relevance

Definite conclusions upon an association between dental caries and weight status in high caries risk schoolchildren cannot be drawn.


Dental caries Weight status Body mass index Anthropometry Philippines Schoolchildren 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roswitha Heinrich-Weltzien
    • 1
  • Bella Monse
    • 2
  • Habib Benzian
    • 3
  • Joachim Heinrich
    • 4
  • Katrin Kromeyer-Hauschild
    • 5
  1. 1.WHO Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Oral Diseases, Department of Preventive and Paediatric DentistryJena University HospitalJenaGermany
  2. 2.Department of Education, Health and Nutrition CentreCagayan de OroPhilippines
  3. 3.Fit for School InternationalLondonUK
  4. 4.Helmholtz Zentrum MünchenInstitute of EpidemiologyNeuherbergGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Human GeneticsJena University HospitalJenaGermany

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