Objective Sociodemographic changes in Norway and other western industrialised countries, including family structure and an increasing proportion of cohabiting and divorced parents, might affect the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity issues. We aimed to examine whether parental marital status was associated with general and abdominal obesity among children. We also sought to explore whether the associations differed by gender.
Setting 127 primary schools across Norway.
Participant 3166 third graders (mean age 8.3 years) participating in the nationally representative Norwegian Child Growth Study in 2010.
Measurements Height, weight and waist circumference were objectively measured. The main outcome measures were general overweight (including obesity; body mass index ≥25 kg/m2) using International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) cut-offs and abdominal obesity (waist-to-height ratio ≥0.5) by gender and parental marital status. Prevalence ratios, adjusted for possible confounders, were calculated by log-binomial regression.
Results General overweight (including obesity) was 1.54 (95% CI 1.21 to 1.95) times more prevalent among children of divorced parents compared with children of married parents, and the corresponding prevalence ratio for abdominal obesity was 1.89 (95% CI 1.35 to 2.65). Formal tests of the interaction term parental marital status by gender were not statistically significant. However, in gender-specific analyses the association between parental marital status and adiposity measures was only statistically significant in boys (p=0.04 for general overweight (including obesity) and p=0.01 for abdominal obesity). The estimates were robust against adjustment for maternal education, family country background and current area of residence.
Conclusions General and abdominal obesities were more prevalent among children of divorced parents. This study provides valuable information by focusing on societal changes in order to identify vulnerable groups.
- Public Health
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.