Factors associated with overweight in preschool-age children in southwestern France

Béatrice Jouret, Namanjeet Ahluwalia, Christelle Cristini, Marie Dupuy, Laurence Nègre-Pages, Hélène Grandjean, Maithé Tauber

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80 Scopus citations


Background: Pediatric overweight and obesity are becoming an epidemic worldwide, which indicates the need for formulating preventive programs and policies during a child's early years. Objective: We identified factors associated with overweight in young children in southwestern France. Design: Children [n = 1780; x̄ (±SD) age: 3.9 ± 0.4 y] were recruited in kindergarten. Medical information on the parents, grandparents, and child as well as the child's 3-d dietary intake, participation in organized sports, and television-viewing habits were ascertained, and anthropometric measurements of the child were taken. Results: The prevalence of overweight was 9.1% when using body mass index ≥ 90th percentile of French reference curves as a cutoff. In a multivariate logistic regression, overweight at 4 y was associated with female sex, having an overweight mother, and having ≥1 diabetic grandparent; odds ratios (ORs; 95% CIs) for these variables were 1.9 (1.2, 3.0), 2.2 (1.0, 4.7), and 2.6 (1.6, 4.1), respectively. Being small or large for gestational age was not associated with the risk of overweight at 4 y, whereas this risk was increased for children who were overweight at 9 or 24 mo: ORs (95% CIs) were 4.0 (2.4, 6.9) and 11.7 (6.1, 22.2), respectively. Nutrient intakes did not differ significantly with weight status in girls; however, overweight boys had significantly greater energy and lipid intakes than did their nonoverweight counterparts. Overweight was positively associated with television viewing (>1 h/d) in both sexes and with participation in organized sports in girls only. Conclusions: A family history of overweight or diabetes, overweight in the first 2 y of life, and television viewing are associated with overweight at 4 y. These factors should be considered in developing programs for the prevention of overweight in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1643-1649
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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