Influence of Parental and Some Demographic Characteristics on Overweight/Obesity Status among a Sample of Egyptian Children


  • Nayera E. Hassan Biological Anthropology Department, Cairo
  • Sahar A. El-Masry Biological Anthropology Department, Cairo
  • Tarek Farid Pediatric Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Cairo
  • Aya Khalil Biological Anthropology Department, Cairo



Obesity, overweight, children, parental factors, residence


BACKGROUND: Overweight/obesity is a multi-factorial problem, which results from rapidly changing social, economic, and physical environments that have led to an energy imbalance.

AIM: To identify the association between childhood overweight/obesity and some socio-demographic risk factors, as parental age, body mass index (BMI), education and occupation, family size and residence (urban/rural).

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Cross-sectional study included 154 children of both sexes; aged 5-18 years; with their parents; one of them was working at the National Research Centre and from their relatives and neighbours. Data was collected about the child birth weight, family size, parental ages, education, occupation and place of residence. Anthropometric measurements including weight, height, and body mass index (BMI) of children and their parents were conducted.

RESULTS: Obesity was detected among 19.5% of children (BMI > 95th percentile), 75.3% of their mothers and 49.6% of their fathers (BMI > 30 Kg/m^2). While overweight was present in 11.0% of the children (BMI > 85th- <95 percentile), 16.9% of their mothers and 36.5% of their fathers (BMI > 25-29.9 Kg/m^2). Child obesity was more prominent in urban than rural areas (21.3% versus 12.5%) and among housewives (22.8%) than among working mothers (16%, p < 0.016). Child overweight was more common in rural than urban areas (12.5% versus 10.7%) and among children with high father education (20%). Child BMI had significant positive correlations only with the child age, parental ages and BMIs, and family size. In spite of that, parental BMIs had significant positive correlations with each other and with family size, and significant negative correlations with maternal education and occupation and paternal education.

CONCLUSION: Childhood obesity and overweight were more prominent in urban than rural areas, among children with non-working housewives mothers and highly educated fathers (college or above). Parental education and occupation had an indirect significant effect on child BMI through their significant effect on parental BMIs.


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How to Cite

Hassan NE, El-Masry SA, Farid T, Khalil A. Influence of Parental and Some Demographic Characteristics on Overweight/Obesity Status among a Sample of Egyptian Children. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2016 Aug. 27 [cited 2022 Aug. 14];4(3):342-7. Available from:



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