Relationship between Children’s Body Mass Index and Parents’ Obesity and Socioeconomic Status: A Multilevel Analysis Applied with Luxembourg Data


Obesity in children is a health crisis because the problem is increasing in most developed countries. This study measures the relationship between body mass index (BMI) of children aged 7 - 12 years residing in Luxembourg and the weight and socioeconomic status of their parents. The data used are from the 2007 Socio-Economic Panel Liewen zu L?tzebuerg/European Union-Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey, which covers a population of approximately 10,000 people. The study sample includes 775 children whose weight and height were recorded to calculate their BMI. The descriptive analysis with the socioeconomic distribution of the children’s BMI and the multilevel logistic regression of the probability to be in overweight or obese were performed. The mean BMI of children was 17.4 kg/m2 for boys and girls. The prevalence of overweight was 21.2% (including 3% who were obese). Weight status, educational level, physical activity, and eating habits of parents were associated with BMI in children. Furthermore, children of foreign nationality had 2.9 times more risk to be overweight or obese than other children of Luxembourg nationality (OR = 2.90, 95%CI: 1.38 - 6.10). Children living in household with at least one parent who was obese were 6.51 times more likely to be in overweight or obese compared to those in household with both parents normal (OR = 6.51, 95%CI: 2.48 - 17.08). Overall, nationality and weight status of parents were the main determinants of children’s weight status. Promoting healthy diets and regular physical activity and educating parents on the consequences of overweight and obesity on children’s health in adulthood are effective strategies to control overweight and obesity.

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Tchicaya, A. and Lorentz, N. (2014) Relationship between Children’s Body Mass Index and Parents’ Obesity and Socioeconomic Status: A Multilevel Analysis Applied with Luxembourg Data. Health, 6, 2322-2332. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.617267.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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