Does Parents' BMI and Educational Status Affect Children's Nutritional Status?
Studies indicate that there is an inverse relationship between the educational level of parents and the children's body mass index (BMI).
Under the program called, "Gaining Health in Europe "that was launched by WHO in Europe, the first population based nutritional survey was done in Italy named "OKkio alla Salute.".
Under this program, a study was conducted in the Tuscany region to assess the implications of the risk factors for obesity in children, and the plausible influences which the educational status of parents might exert on the weight-gain status of children. The study also aimed at finding out any connections between school-aged children's obesity and that of their parents.
The study was conducted through Local Health Units in Tuscany and involved children in the age-group of 8-9 years. Their height and weight were recorded by "ad hoc" personnel and BMI was calculated. Self -administered questionnaires were used to gather parents' height, weight and educational level information.
The study highlighted that children's obesity was directly related to parents' educational level and inversely related to BMI.
Socio-Economic Status (SES) of the family is also an important indicator of children's obesity.
The final conclusions drawn from the study was that among parents, mainly father's obesity and cultural influences affect the incidences of obesity in children of Tuscany. The transmission of genetic dispositions from parents to children is widely known, but educational and economic status also have implications on the children health status (particularly obesity), as has been brought to light by this study.
Relationship between 8/9-yr-old school children BMI, parents' BMI and educational level: a cross sectional survey; Giacomo et al; Nutrition Journal 2011.