Individual characteristics and public or private schools predict the body mass index of Brazilian children: a multilevel analysis

Danielle Biazzi Leal, Maria Alice Altenburg de Assis, Wolney Lisboa Conde, Adriana Soares Lobo, France Bellisle, Dalton Francisco de Andrade
2018 Cadernos de Saúde Pública  
The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of individual and school characteristics to the variability in body mass index (BMI) z-scores of 7 to 10 years old children. Anthropometric and sociodemographic data from two cross-sectional studies conducted with schoolchildren from the 2nd to the 5th grades of elementary schools were analyses (n = 2,936 in 2002, and n = 1,232 in 2007). Multilevel modeling was used to estimate variations in BMI at child and school levels. The contribution
more » ... s. The contribution of the school context to the overall variability of BMI z-score was small but significant in 2002 (3.3%-4.4%) and in 2007 (2.4%-5.3%), showing that schoolchildren from private schools had a higher BMI compared to those from public schools. The monthly family income showed, in general, a negative association with BMI z-score in 2002 and a positive association in 2007, for both sexes. The consumption of sweets showed a negative effect in the BMIs of children. In both surveys, overweight/obese mothers and excessive birth weight were positively associated with BMI z-score. Mother's weight status had a higher influence on the overall variability of BMI in both surveys. In conclusion, school and child characteristics contributed to the variance in children's weight status. The results imply that overweight/obesity childhood prevention programs should focus on strategies of family engagement to be more effective.
doi:10.1590/0102-311x00053117 pmid:29846407 fatcat:exwvax4nnnh3tbaly27ysg2uzu