Socioeconomic inequalities in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among Portuguese preschool-aged children: changes from 2009 to 2016

Daniela Rodrigues*, Diogo Costa, Augusta Gama, Aristides M. Machado-Rodrigues, Helena Nogueira, Maria Raquel G. Silva, Vítor Rosado-Marques, Cristina Padez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: We evaluated, for the first time in Portugal, the prevalence of overweight and obesity according to parental education in a population of preschool-aged Portuguese children in 2009/2010 and 2016/2017. Methods: Anthropometric data were collected in public and private preschools (n = 1996 in 2009/2010; n = 2077 in 2016/2017). Body mass index was calculated and weight status categories were based on the International Obesity Task Force cutoff points. Parental education level was self-reported. Results: Prevalence of overweight (17.1%–14.1%; p < 0.001) and obesity (6.6%–3.9%, p < 0.001) was lower in 2016/2017 than in 2009/2010, with higher rates being found in the north of the country. Parental education was significantly associated with childhood overweight and obesity and inequalities between low- and high-education increased between the two periods. Conclusions: While a decrease in childhood overweight and obesity were positive findings, the prevalence is still high and shows pronounced socioeconomic differences. Policies for obesity prevention need to be inclusive and tackle inequalities, with interventions tailored to suit local contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23582
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

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