The prevalence of overweight in children and adolescents is high and overweight is associated with poor health outcomes over short- and long-term. Lifestyle factors can interact to influence overweight. Comprehensive studies linking overweight concomitantly with several demographic and potentially-modifiable lifestyle factors and health-risk behaviours are limited in adolescents - an age-group characterized by changes in lifestyle behaviours and high prevalence of overweight. Thus, the objective of the current study was to examine the association of overweight with several socio-demographic and lifestyle variables simultaneously in a representative sample of adolescents.
A nationally representative sample of 11-15 year-olds (n = 7154) in France participated as part of the WHO-Collaborative Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. Students reported data on their age, height, weight, socio-demographic variables, lifestyle factors including nutrition practices, physical activity at two levels of intensity (moderate and vigorous), sedentary behaviours, as well as smoking and alcohol consumption patterns using standardized HBSC protocols. Overweight (including obesity) was defined using the IOTF reference. The multivariate association of overweight with several socio-demographic and lifestyle factors was examined with logistic regression models.
The adjusted odds ratios for the association with overweight were: 1.80 (95% CI: 1.37-2.36) for low family affluence; 0.73 (0.60-0.88) for eating breakfast daily; 0.69 (0.56-0.84) for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA); and 0.71 (0.59-0.86) for vigorous physical activity (VPA). Significant interactions between age and gender as well as television (TV) viewing and gender were noted: for boys, overweight was not associated with age or TV viewing; in contrast, for girls overweight correlated negatively with age and positively with TV viewing. Fruit and vegetable intake, computer and video-games use, smoking and alcohol consumption were not associated with overweight.
In multivariate model, family affluence, breakfast consumption and moderate to vigorous as well as vigorous physical activity were negatively associated with overweight. These findings extend previous research to a setting where multiple risk and protective factors were simultaneously examined and highlight the importance of multi-faceted approaches promoting physical activity and healthy food choices such as breakfast consumption for overweight prevention in adolescents.