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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(11), 11398-11417; doi:10.3390/ijerph111111398

Overweight and Obesity in Portuguese Children: Prevalence and Correlates

1
CIFI2D, Kinanthropometry Lab, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, 91, 4200-450 Porto, Portugal
2
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, 6400 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA
3
CAPES Foundation, Ministry of Education of Brazil, Brasília DF 70040-020, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2014 / Revised: 22 October 2014 / Accepted: 27 October 2014 / Published: 3 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Childhood Obesity: Novel Approaches to a Global Problem)
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Abstract

There are widespread differences in overweight/obesity prevalence in children, and understanding the reasons for this is very important. The present study aims: (I) to conduct a meta-analysis on overweight/obesity prevalence in Portuguese children; (II) to identify differences in biological and behavioural characteristics between normal-weight and overweight/obese children; and (III) to investigate the importance of individual- and school-level correlates of variation in children’s BMI using multilevel modelling. A search was done for all published papers including Portuguese children during the last decade; further, 686 Portuguese children (9–11 years old) were sampled and their BMI, family income, maturity offset, nutritional habits, physical activity, sedentariness, sleep time, and school environment information were collected. Results showed a stabilization of overweight/obesity during the last decade, 30.6% (95%CI: 0.287–0.34) for boys, 28.4% (95%CI: 0.23–0.35) for girls, and 30.3% (95%CI: 0.27–0.34) for boys and girls together. Differences between weight groups were only found in individual-level biological traits. The multilevel analysis did not identify significant contributions of school-level variables to children’s BMI variation. In conclusion, no increase was found in the prevalence of overweight/obesity among Portuguese children since 2000. Normal-weight and overweight/obese children only differ in individual-level characteristics, and school context variables were not related to variation in BMI. View Full-Text
Keywords: overweight; obesity; children; school; correlates overweight; obesity; children; school; correlates
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Gomes, T.N.; Katzmarzyk, P.T.; dos Santos, F.K.; Souza, M.; Pereira, S.; Maia, J.A.R. Overweight and Obesity in Portuguese Children: Prevalence and Correlates. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 11398-11417.

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