Parental obesity as a predictor of childhood overweight/obesity in Australian migrant children.


SUMMARY Obesity levels are increasing disproportionately in immigrant children worldwide. We investigated predictors of immigrant children's obesity status in a well-documented 3-year follow-up study of children at 9 years (n = 1232) and 12 years (n = 628) of age living in inner city areas of Sydney (Australia). The major immigrant groups in this sample were from Europe, the Middle East and SE Asia. Having an obese parent and having either parent or child not being born in Australia and not playing organised sport were predictors of childhood obesity. If either parent was obese compared to non-obese, then the odds ratio for a 9-year-old child of being obese compared to normal weight was 4.9 (95% CI: 3.0-8.0); for 12-year olds the odds ratio was 8.0 (95% CI: 3.6-18). For the survey of 9-years old, a parent born outside Australia or if the child himself was born outside Australia was associated with an almost twofold chance of being obese (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-3.0), and not participating in organised sports was significantly associated with childhood obesity. Nine-year olds who did not participate in organised sports outside of school hours were almost twice as likely to be obese (OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.2-2.9). When stratified by ethnicity, participation in sports was not related to lower obesity status in children of SE Asian origin. One reason for this could be because SE Asian had very limited participation in sports compared to their counterparts. Accordingly, we believe that health promotion messages to avoid obesity need to be targeted ethnic-specifically.:

DOI: 10.1016/j.orcp.2008.04.007

Cite this paper

@article{Li2008ParentalOA, title={Parental obesity as a predictor of childhood overweight/obesity in Australian migrant children.}, author={Yang Li and Kaye E. Brock and Rosemary V Cant and Liang Ke and Stephen L Morrell}, journal={Obesity research & clinical practice}, year={2008}, volume={2 3}, pages={I-II} }