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Childhood overweight and obesity: influence of biological and environmental factors in Feira de Santana, BA

Childhood overweight and obesity have a high prevalence and multifactorial character. To determine the influence of biological and environmental factors in their development, a cross-sectional study was performed with 699 children, ranging from 5 to 9 years of age, from the public and private schools in the urban area of Feira de Santana, BA. Overweight and obesity were defined as body-mass index > the 85th and 95th percentiles for age and gender, respectively. Interviews with the children's responsible were used to determine the influence of these factors. It was observed as statistic significance for the development of both conditions: high level of parent's education and income, being an only child, studying at private school, having household appliances and using computers. The white ethnic group was related only to overweight. There was an inverse association regarding school flunking and practice of systematic physical activity. The odds ratio showed a predictive and independent association with studying at private school and being an only child. In conclusion there was an influence of biological and environmental factors in the development of childhood overweight and obesity, confirming the multifactorial etiology of these conditions.

Overweight; Obesity; Children; Epidemiology

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