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Childhood obesity and prevention in different socio-economic contexts
Sahlgrenska Akademien, Göteborgs Universitet.
Sahlgrenska Akademien, Göteborgs Universitet.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Nursing Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2764-3095
Sahlgrenska Akademien, Göteborgs Universitet.
2011 (English)In: Preventive Medicine, ISSN 0091-7435, E-ISSN 1096-0260, Vol. 53, no 6, 402-407 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


To assess recent trends in obesity, health beliefs, and lifestyles in Swedish schoolchildren, with focus on socioeconomic disparities.


The study was conducted in two areas with high and low socioeconomic status (SES). 340 11–12 year olds participated in three cross-sectional surveys assessing food-related behaviours, physical activity and health beliefs, together with anthropometric examinations. Comparisons were made before and after a community-based intervention (2003 versus 2008) within the low-SES school, and between the low and high-SES school (2008 only).


In the low-SES school BMI z-score decreased over 5 years (0.80 vs 0.46) as did the percentage of children frequently consuming sweet drinks (43.5 vs 26.8%), statistically significant in girls only (p < 0.05). Children increasingly perceived benefits of healthy life-styles (37 vs 55%). In 2008, consumption of breakfast, vegetables, sweets and sweet drinks differed between schools, as did screen-time and physical activity, all in favour of the high SES-school where the obesity-prevalence was significantly lower (0.8 vs 6.7%).


Positive changes in diet and weight status were observed, especially in girls, within a low-income multi-ethnic community undergoing a health promotion intervention. Our results underscore the multifactorial etiology of childhood obesity and the importance of continuing tailored, gender-sensitive prevention efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2011. Vol. 53, no 6, 402-407 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-73548DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.09.019ISI: 000298073500009OAI: diva2:474318
Funding agencies|Region Vastra Gotaland, Sweden||Swedish Council of Working Life and Social Research (FAS)||Available from: 2012-01-09 Created: 2012-01-09 Last updated: 2016-09-26

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Kjellgren, Karin I.
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