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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 4, pp e298–e303 | Cite as

Predictors of Obesity Among Métis Children: Socio-economic, Behavioural and Cultural Factors

  • Martin J. CookeEmail author
  • Piotr Wilk
  • Kenneth W. Paul
  • Shelley L. H. Gonneville
Quantitative Research
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine the socio-economic, behavioural and Métis-specific factors that predict obesity among Métis children aged 6 to 14 years. Socio-economic factors included household structure and income, parental education and food insecurity. Cultural factors included knowledge of an Aboriginal language, participation in cultural activities, time spent with Elders and parental residential school attendance.

METHODS: The 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, Children and Youth component collected data about Métis children, including child height and weight, reported by the person most knowledgeable about the child (PMK). Multivariate binary logistic regression was used to predict obesity, defined using IOTF BMI cut-offs. After testing for interactions, models were stratified by age (6-10, 11-14) and gender.

RESULTS: An estimated 18.5% of Métis boys and 14.4% of girls were obese. The effects of socio-economic factors and region varied across age and gender groups, although living in a lone-parent family and rural residence had consistent effects. Many effects of cultural variables were unexpected. Although PMK residential schooling was positively associated with obesity generally, the effects were negative among older girls. As expected, children participating in frequent physical activity generally had lower risk, independent of other factors.

CONCLUSIONS: Although socio-economic factors are related to risk of obesity among Métis children, the effects may not be the same across age groups and for boys and girls. There is some evidence of independent effects of Métis-specific cultural factors, including parental residential schooling, on the risk of child obesity, but further investigation and better data are needed to understand these relationships.

Key Words

Obesity Body Mass Index indigenous population children Canada 

Résumé

OBJECTIFS: Examiner les facteurs socioéconomiques, comportementaux et culturels prédisant l’obésité chez les enfants métis de 6 à 14 ans. Les facteurs socioéconomiques étaient la structure et le revenu des ménages, l’instruction parentale et l’insécurité alimentaire. Les facteurs culturels étaient la connaissance d’une langue autochtone, la participation à des activités culturelles, le temps passé avec les Aînés et la fréquentation parentale des pensionnats.

MÉTHODE: Le volet sur les enfants et les jeunes de l’Enquête auprès des peuples autochtones (2006) présente des données sur les enfants métis, y compris leur taille et leur poids, déclarées par la personne connaissant le mieux l’enfant (PCME). Par régression logistique binaire multivariée, nous avons prédit l’obésité (définie selon les points-limites d’IMC de l’IOTF) chez ces enfants. Après évaluation des interactions, les modèles ont été stratifiés par âge (6-10 ans, 11-14 ans) et par sexe.

RÉSULTATS: Environ 18,5 % des garçons métis et 14,4 % des filles étaient obèses. Les effets des facteurs socioéconomiques et régionaux variaient selon les groupes d’âge et de sexe, mais vivre dans une famille monoparentale et résider en milieu rural produisaient des effets uniformes. De nombreux effets des variables culturelles étaient inattendus. Bien que la fréquentation d’un pensionnat par la PCME soit associée positivement à l’obésité en général, son effet était négatif chez les filles de 11 à 14 ans. Comme prévu, les enfants s’adonnant fréquemment à l’activité physique avaient un risque d’obésité inférieur dans l’ensemble, indépendamment des autres facteurs.

CONCLUSIONS: Bien que les facteurs socioéconomiques soient liés au risque d’obésité chez les enfants métis, leurs effets peuvent ne pas être les mêmes dans tous les groupes d’âge ou entre les garçons et les filles. Il semble que les facteurs culturels propres aux Métis, dont la fréquentation parentale des pensionnats, exercent des effets indépendants sur le risque d’obésité chez les enfants, mais il faudrait pousser la recherche et obtenir de meilleures données pour comprendre ces liens.

Mots Clés

obésité indice de masse corporelle population d’origine amérindienne enfant Canada 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin J. Cooke
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Piotr Wilk
    • 3
  • Kenneth W. Paul
    • 1
  • Shelley L. H. Gonneville
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of Sociology &Legal StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.Department of Paediatrics and Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine and DentistryWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  4. 4.Healing and Wellness BranchMétis Nation of OntarioOttawaCanada

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