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Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity (COB) in the developing world is currently high and is rising rapidly. Unlike developed countries, studies evaluating the association between parental socio-economic status (SES) and risk of COB in developing countries are limited. Besides, the association varies across country and race/ethnicity and changes overtime. The aim of this study was to assess the association between parental SES and life style habits (LSHs) and risk of COB in Uyo, Southern Nigeria.
Methods: Five hundred pupils and the corresponding number of parents were examined between April and September 2018 using socio-demographic/LSHs assessment questionnaire and body mass index (BMI) evaluation. Data analysis was performed and frequencies and percentages were computed. Associations between SES and LSHs of parents and risk of COW/COB were evaluated using multiple logistic regression analysis. Odds ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were estimated.
Results: The prevalence of COW and COB was 3.4% and 16% respectively. The risk of COW/COB was higher among children whose parents had high level of education (OR=1.81, C.I=1.985-3.327,P=0.046), high level of income(OR=16.07, C.I=3.773-68.455,P=0.0001), employed(OR=1.138,C.I=0.157-12.057) and poor dietary habits. High level of physical activity of fathers and high income level of mothers decreased the risk of COW/COB.
Conclusion: High SES and poor LSHs of parents are associated with increased risk of COW/COB. Interventions necessary to reduce high prevalence of COW/COB in our cities and other developing countries should include among other risk factors parental SES and LSHs.
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