Maternal excess weight and nutritional status of preschool children
Introduction: The increasing prevalence and early occurrence of excess weight in childhood suggests an association with the habits and nutritional status of the parents, as preschool aged children are still strongly influenced by the home environment.
Objective: This study sought to evaluate the association between excess weight in parents and the nutritional status of preschool aged children.
Methods: Using a cross-sectional study, the nutritional status of 224 children aged two-six from seven private schools in São Paulo city was classified into two categories: a low or appropriate body mass index (BMI) group called ‘normal weight’ and an overweight or obese group, called ‘excess weight’ according to the World Health Organization. The independent variables were: maternal and paternal nutritional status, sex of the child, family income, maternal education, duration of breastfeeding, age of mother and father and weight and length of the child at birth. A multiple generalised linear regression examined the relation between the independent variables and child excess weight.
Results: Mothers with excess weight presented a prevalence ratio of 1.3 (CI90%: 1.08 to 1.59) of children with excess weight compared to normal weight mothers, but not for fathers. Breastfeeding duration of over 12 months was a protective factor against excess weight of the child, 0.71 (CI90%: 0.51 to 0.99).
Conclusion: The interpretation of the results, even considering the possible limitations, demonstrates that there is an association between excess weight of preschool age children and maternal excess weight, but not with father’s excess weight.
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