OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between child and adolescent obesity, and parental weight status. METHODS: Height and weight were measured in Chinese children and adolescents aged 6-17 years old. Information was collected concerning parental weight and height, and possible covariates, using a questionnaire. The body mass index (BMI) of each study participant and their parents was calculated. On the basis of the BMI, parents were categorized as normal, overweight or obese, and children and adolescents were categorized as normal or obese. RESULTS: Of the 5,041 participants included in the study, 6.82% were obese. Child or adolescent obesity was significantly associated with parental obesity. When both parents were obese, there was a 3.62-fold increased risk of obesity compared with those whose parents were of normal weight. Obesity in fathers was associated with a heightened risk of obesity in female children, whereas obesity in mothers was associated with a heightened risk of obesity in male children. CONCLUSIONS: Parental obesity was a predictor of obesity in children and adolescents. It is therefore of key importance to prevent obesity in children who have one or more obese parents.
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