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Childhood Obesity PreventionInternational Research, Controversies and Interventions$
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Jennifer A. O'Dea and Michael Eriksen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572915.001.0001

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Overweight, obesity, gender, age, ethnicity, and school SES among Australian schoolchildren in studies from 2000 and 2006

Overweight, obesity, gender, age, ethnicity, and school SES among Australian schoolchildren in studies from 2000 and 2006

Chapter:
(p.95) Chapter 8 Overweight, obesity, gender, age, ethnicity, and school SES among Australian schoolchildren in studies from 2000 and 2006
Source:
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Author(s):

Jennifer A. O’Dea

Michael J. Dibley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572915.003.0008

This chapter describes the relationships between obesity and overweight prevalence and gender, age, school year, school SES, and ethnicity among primary and secondary students from across Australia in cross sectional surveys conducted in 2000 and 2006. In the 2000 study, overweight and obesity — as defined by the IOTF international standard definition — were identified in 17.3% and 6.4% of participants, respectively. These characteristics showed a trend towards a greater prevalence among students from low-SES backgrounds compared with those from middle/high-SES backgrounds for the total group (19% v 16.8% overweight; 8.9% v 5.8% obese) and similar SES trends were found among females (19.7% v 17.2% overweight; 6.9% v 6.2% obese) and males (18.5% v 16.3% overweight; 9% v 5.5% obese). Similarly, in the 2006 study, around 6.8% of the children were obese and 18.5% were overweight. Prevalence of obesity by each ethnic group was as follows in the 2006 data set by ethnicity: East and South East Asian 3.6%, South Asian/Indian 4.9%, Anglo/Caucasian 5.9%, Southern European 8.9%, Aboriginal 10.1%, ‘Other’ 13.5%, Middle Eastern 15.8%, and Pacific Islander/Maori 25.6%. Compared to Anglo/Caucasian children, the odds risk (OR) for obesity was: 1.6 times greater for Southern European, 1.8 for Aboriginal, 2.5 for ‘Other’ participants who were mostly African refugees, 3.0 for Middle Eastern, and 5.5 for Pacific Islander children. Prevalence of obesity in 2006 for low, middle, and high school SES was 8.4, 7.2, and 3.7%, respectively, with corresponding ORs of 2.1 for middle SES and 2.4 for low SES compared to high SES. Finally, the analyses found that from 2000 to 2006, obesity increased among low SES schools from 5.8 to 8.6% compared to 5.5 to 6.3% in middle SES and 3.3 to 4.2% in high SES schools. The chapter discusses the increased need for assistance among low income and disadvantaged schools, and those with a varied ethnic mix to develop and implement culturally appropriate health promotion activities to prevent obesity.

Keywords:   children, adolescents, epidemiology, Maori, culture, ethnic, school, social class, socioeconomic status, Australia

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