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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


GEA-HORTA, Tatiane et al. Factors associated with body mass index in Brazilian children: structural equation model. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.2, pp.308-314. ISSN 1699-5198.


Overweight and obesity in children is an important global problem. Its prevalence is increasing in developed and developing countries.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between socioeconomic conditions, maternal body mass index (BMI), food security, and intake of obesogenic foods on excess body weight in children.


A cross-sectional study was conducted, using the data of 3,676 children from the latest National Demographic and Health Survey in Brazil. The children's BMI was the study outcome. Socioeconomic condition, maternal BMI, food security, and intake of obesogenic foods were use as predictors. structural equation models were used for analysis.


Socioeconomic conditions directly influenced the children's BMI ( = 0.102; p = 0.02), mediated by intake of obesogenic foods ( = 0.018; p = 0.04). A direct association was observed between maternal and child BMIs ( = 0.169; p < 0.001) and intake of obesogenic foods and child BMI ( = 0.114; p < 0.001).


Favorable socioeconomic conditions, increased maternal BMI, and intake of obesogenic foods contributed to increased child BMI.

Keywords : Risk factors; Nutritional status; Child; Structural equation modeling; Brazil.

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