Sociodemographic and dietary factors influencing overweight and obesity in school going children aged 10 to 15 years: a cross sectional community based study

Amarnath R. L. C., Shilpa K., Amit R. Ugargol, Sowjanya Bandlamudi


Background: Childhood obesity as a rampant public health problem as it is affecting both developed and developing countries. Understanding the trends in obesity prevalence among children, contributing factors and developing strategies for successful interventions is the need of the hour. Hence the present study was aimed at understanding the implication of dietary and socio-demographic factors influencing overweight and obesity among 10-15 year old school children.

Methods: The study was a cross sectional study, undertaken in eight private schools of Belgaum City, Karnataka from January 2010 to December 2010. School children of sixth to tenth standard aged between 10 to 15 years were included. Children were interviewed by the investigator. Examination was carried out which included general physical examination, measurement of height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, blood pressure and other vital signs. Overweight and obesity were defined basing on Based on WHO and International obesity task force (IOTF) BMI cut-off standards for Asia and India.

Results: A total of 600 children were included of which 52.33% were males. Majority of the study subjects belonged to socio economic class I and II. About 65.67% of students belonged to nuclear family. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 18.83% in study population. Out of this overweight contributed 11.33% and obesity contributed 7.5%.The odds of overweight and obesity was higher in females (OR=1.19), In children aged 13 years (OR=3.21), in children belonging to Sikh community (OR=6.26) and in children with socio economic class II (OR=1.65). Children from joint family (OR=0.70) and third generation family (OR=0.29) had lower odds of overweight and obesity compared to children from nuclear families. Daily consumption of snacks between meals (OR=2.42), sweets (OR=1.985), ice-cream (OR=1.667), fast foods (OR=3.062) and beverages (OR=4.80) were strongly associated with increased risk of overweight and obesity in study population.  Daily consumption of fruits (OR=0.095) and vegetables (OR=0.166) and pulses (OR=0.690) was associated with reduced risk of overweight and obesity in study population (Table 4).

Conclusions: Overall the study findings reveal that children had a relatively higher prevalence of overweight and obesity. Regular intake of fast foods, beverages, snacks between the meals and ice creams was associated with higher risk of obesity in study population. Regular consumption of fruits, vegetables and pulses had strong negative association with overweight and obesity in study population.


Overweight and obesity, School children, Dietary factors

Full Text:



WHO. Technical Report Series 894. Obesity, Preventing and managing the global epidemic. 2000:1-2.

de Onis M, Blössner M, Borghi E. Global prevalence and trends of overweight and obesity among preschool children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92(5):1257-64.

Ranjani HMT, Pradeepa R, Anjana RM, Garg R, Anand K, Mohan V. Epidemiology of childhood overweight & obesity in India: A systematic review. The Indian J Med Res. 2016;143:160-74.

Butte NF, Gregorich SE, Tschann JM, Penilla C, Pasch LA, De Groat CL, et al. Longitudinal effects of parental, child and neighborhood factors on moderate-vigorous physical activity and sedentary time in Latino children. Int J BehavNutrPhys Act. 2014;11(1):108.

Gibson LY, Byrne SM, Davis EA, Blair E, Jacoby P, Zubrick SR. The role of family and maternal factors in childhood obesity. Med J Aust. 2007;186(11):591–5.

6. Maffeis C TG, Tato L. Influence of diet, physical activity and parents' obesity on children's adi- posity: a four-year longitudinal study. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998;22(8):758–64.

Whitaker RC1, Wright JA, Pepe MS, Seidel KD, Dietz WH. Predicting obesity in young adulthood from childhood and parental obesity. N Engl J Med 1997;337(13):869–73.

Bralić I1, Vrdoljak J, Kovacić V. Associations between parental and child overweight and obesity. Coll Antropol. 2005;29(2):481–6.

Whitaker RC, Deeks CM, Baughcum AE, Specker BL. The relationship of childhood adiposity to parent body mass index and eating behavior. Obes Res. 2000;8(3):234–40.

Elder JP, Arredondo EM, Campbell N, Baquero B, Duerksen S, Ayala G, et al. Individual, family, and community environmental correlates of obesity in Latino elementary school children. J Sch Health. 2010;80(1):20-30.

WHO. Global health risks: mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2009.

Batty GD. Physical activity and coronary heart disease. BMJ. 2004;328(7448):1089–90.

Lawlor DA, Benfield L, Logue J, Tilling K, Howe LD, Fraser A, et al. Association between general and central adiposity in childhood, and change in these, with cardiovascular risk factors in adolescence: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2010;341:c6224.

Janssen I1, Leblanc AG. Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:7:40.

LeBlanc AG1, Spence JC, Carson V, Connor Gorber S, Dillman C, Janssen I, et al. Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in the early years (aged 0–4 years). Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012;37:753–72.

Kumar S, Mahabalaraju, DK, Anoroopa MS. Prevalence of obesity and its influencing factor among affluent school children of Davangere city. Ind Jor Com Med. 2007;32(1):1-5.

Dudala SR, Reddy KAK, Prabhu GR. Prasad's socio-economic status classification-An update for 2014. Int J Res Health Sci. 2014;2(3):875-8.

Kumanyika S, Jeffery R, Morabia A, Ritenbaugh C, Antipatis V. Public Health Approaches to the Prevention of Obesity (PHAPO) Working Group of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). Int J Obes. 2002;26:425-36.

Dietz WH. Critical periods in childhood for development of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59:955-9.

Cameron N, Getz B. Sex differences in the prevalence of obesity in rural African adolescents. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997;21(9):775-82.

Omran AR. The epidemiologic transition. A theory of the epidemiology of population change. Milbank Mem Fund Q. 1971;49:509–38.

Drewnowski A, Popkin BM. The nutrition transition: new trends in the global diet. Nutr Rev. 1997;55:31–43.

Katzmarzyk PT, Mason C. The physical activity transition. J Phys Act Health. 2009;6:269–80.

Aggarwal T, Bhatia RC, Singh D, Sobti PC. Prevalence of obesity and overweight in affluent adolescents from Ludhiana, Punjab. Indian Pediatr. 2008;45(6):500-2.

Ghosh A. Explaining overweight and obesity in children and adolescents of Asian Indian origin: the Calcutta childhood obesity study. Indian J Public Health. 2014;58(2):125-8.

Broyles ST, Denstel KD, Church TS, Chaput JP, Fogelholm M, Hu G, et al. The epidemiological transition and the global childhood obesity epidemic. Int J Obesity Supplements. 2015;5(Suppl 2):S3-8.

Deoke A, Hajare S, Saoji A. Prevalence of overweight in high school students with special reference to cardiovascular efficiency. Glob J Health Sci. 2012;4(2):147-52.

Laxmaiah A, Nagalla B, Vijayaraghavan K, Nair M. Factors affecting prevalence of overweight among 12 to 17 year old urban adolescents in Hyderabad, India. Obesity. 2007;15(6):1384-90.

Sidhu S, Marwah G, Prabhjot. Prevalence of overweight and obesity among affluent school children of Amritsar, Punjab. Coll Antropol. 2005;29:53-5.

Gregori D, Gulati A, Paramesh EC, Arockiacath P, Comoretto R, Paramesh H, et al. Cross-regional analysis of multiple factors associated with childhood obesity in India: a national or local challenge? Indian J Pediatr. 2014;81(Suppl 1):5-16.

Pelegrini A, Petroski EL, Coqueiro Rda S, Gaya AC. Overweight and obesity in Brazilian schoolchildren aged 10 to 15 years, data from a Brazilian sports project. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2008;58(4):343-9.

Magarey AM, Daniels, LA, Boulton TJC. Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian children and adolescents, reassessment of 1985 and 1995 data against new standard international definitions. Med J Aust. 2001;174:561-4.