To reduce the prevalence of overweight in children, interventions should be aimed at family and social environments, and children should spend less time with televisions and computers, according to an article published online...in Pediatrics.Fat parents have fat kids.
Sandra Plachta-Danielzik, PhD, from the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Germany, and colleagues conducted a systematic analysis of a subset of the population in the database for the International Consortium on Obesity Prevention in Children and Adolescents (PreVENT). From 4 population-based studies in the database conducted between 1996 and 2008, they reviewed the records of 34,240 children and adolescents aged 3 to 18 years.
For the first time, the researchers studied how the determinants of overweight in children relate to population characteristics, including parental weight and education levels, maternal smoking during pregnancy, physical activity (structured or unstructured), screen time, sleep duration, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and adolescent smoking. They also took under consideration parental smoking habits and single parenthood. Their primary measure was attributable risk (AR), which, as opposed to just a risk factor, takes into account the strength of the association between a determinant and outcome, plus the prevalence of exposure in a population.
"[A]ll determinants were significantly associated with overweight except for short sleep duration, low physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and smoking." the researchers write. "Premature infants had a lower risk of overweight ([odds ratio (OR),] 0.8 [95% (confidence interval [CI]): 0.6–0.9]). High ORs were found for parental overweight and obesity, followed by a high media time and a high birth weight."