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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


ENGSTROM, Elyne M.  and  ANJOS, Luiz A.. Relationship between maternal nutritional status and overweight in Brazilian children. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1996, vol.30, n.3, pp.233-239. ISSN 1518-8787.

The relationship between maternal (age between 20 and 50 years) nutritional status (NS) and children's (age < 10 years) obesity level was studied in a probabilistic sample of the Brazilian population of all ages (n = 63,213) conducted in 1989. Maternal NS was classified as underweight (UW - Body mass index (BMI) < 20 kg.m­2), normal (20 £ BMI < 25) and overweight (OW, BMI ³ 25). Overweight was identified in children with body mass of stature ³ + 2 standard deviations of the American growth reference curve (NCHS). There were a total of 12,414 mother-child pairs. OW was observed in 4.8% of the children. UW and OW were seen in 15.3 and 35.9% of the mothers, respectively. With the UW mothers as reference, the odds ratio (OR) of a child being obese and his/her mother's NS being normal or OW was 2.5 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.7-3.5) and 3.2 (2.2-4.5), respectively. This relationship was influenced by maternal education, OR = 2.9 (1.7-4.8) for mothers with 12 years of education in relation of the ones without any formal education and family percapita income, OR = 3.8 (2.8-5.2) for mothers in the 4th in relation to those in the 1st quartile. These data suggest a positive relationship between maternal and child obesity in the Brazilian population.

Keywords : Nutritional status; Obesity [etiology].

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