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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X


CARDOSO, Letícia de Oliveira; ENGSTROM, Elyne Montenegro; LEITE, Iuri da Costa  and  CASTRO, Inês Rugani Ribeiro de. Socioeconomic, demographic, environmental and behavioral factors associated with overweight in adolescents: a systematic literature review. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.3, pp.378-403. ISSN 1415-790X.

OBJECTIVE: To identify socioeconomic, environmental and behavioral factors associated with overweight (OW) in adolescents through a systematic literature review. METHODS: Six databases were consulted (Lilacs, Adolec, SciELO, Medline via Pubmed, ISI Web of Knowlwdge and Cochrane Library) between January 3 and 13, 2008. The following key-words and respective MeSH terms were used: "overweight", "obesity", "adolescence", "adolescents", "risk factors", "associated factors". Articles in English, Spanish and Portuguese published between 1997 and 2007 were evaluated, and only observational studies with adolescents aged from 10 to 19 years, diagnosed with OW using international criteria were included. Studies based on convenience samples or that did not investigate social, environmental and psycho-behavioral factors as independent variables were excluded. RESULTS: 202 articles were selected by reading the titles and abstracts and applying initial eligibility criterion. The review of complete publications allowed including and analyzing 56 articles. Socioeconomic level was found to be inversely associated with OW in developed countries and directly associated in developing countries. The habit of going on weight loss diets, the number of hours per day watching TV/video, having an obese mother and/or father and the occurrence of OW in childhood were directly associated with OW. The habit of having breakfast and physical activity were observed to be protective factors. CONCLUSION: Socioeconomic, behavioral, family, and childhood variables were associated with OW and should be considered in interventions directed toward the problem among adolescents.

Keywords : Overweight; Obesity; Risk factors; Adolescent.

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