Birthweight, breast-feeding, parental weight and prevalence of obesity in schoolchildren aged 10-12 years, in Greece; the Physical Activity, Nutrition and Allergies in Children Examined in Athens (PANACEA) study
The purpose of the present study was to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in a sample of Greek children aged 10-12 years, and to evaluate these rates in relation to parental weight and birthweight.During the 2005-2006 school period, 700 schoolchildren (323 boys, 377 girls) were randomly recruited from 18 schools, in Athens. Height and weight were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Cut-off points for BMI defining obesity and overweight for gender and age were calculated in accordance with international standards.Overall, 8.6% of boys and 9.0% of girls were obese, and 33.9% of boys and 22.1% of girls were overweight. Having an obese parent increased the odds of having an overweight or obese child (P < 0.01). Compared to non-breast-fed, boys who were breast-fed for >3 months had 70% lower likelihood of being overweight or obese (P < 0.01) and breast-fed girls had 80% lower odds (P < 0.01). Excessive birthweight (>3500 g) increased by 2.5-fold the likelihood of being overweight or obese only in girls (P < 0.05).Parental weight, lack of breast-feeding and excess birthweight (in girls) were significant predictors of overweight or obesity in Greek children aged 10-12 years.