Prevalence of Childhood Obesity by Country, Family Socio-Demographics, and Parental Obesity in Europe: The Feel4Diabetes Study

George Moschonis, George Siopis, Costas Anastasiou, Violeta Iotova, Tanya Stefanova, Roumyana Dimova, Imre Rurik, Anette Si Radó, Greet Cardon, Marieke de Craemer, Jaana Lindström, Luis A. Moreno, Pilar de Miguel-Etayo, Konstantinos Makrilakis, Stavros Liatis, Yannis Manios

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The Feel4Diabetes study recruited 12,193 children (age: 8.20 ±1.01 years) and their parents from six European countries as part of the broader attempt to prevent type 2 diabetes. The current work collected data pre-intervention to identify the prevalence of childhood obesity by country and describe its association with socio-demographic characteristics and parental obesity status. One in four children were overweight or obese, and one in four families had at least one obese parent. Multivariate logistic regression examined the associations between childhood obesity, family socio-demographics, and parental obesity status. Children had a higher chance of being overweight or obese if they were living in “low income” countries (OR: 2.11, 95% CI: 1.62, 2.74) and countries “under economic crisis” (OR: 2.48, 95% CI: 1.89, 3.24) compared to “high-income” countries; if their fathers completed fewer than nine years of education (OR: 2.16, 95% CI: 1.54, 3.05) compared to children whose fathers had a higher level (>14 years) of education; and if one (OR: 2.46, 95% CI: 0.32, 0.62) or both of their parents (OR: 6.83, 95% CI: 5.15, 9.05) were obese. Future childhood obesity prevention-programs should target the whole family while taking into consideration the socioeconomic and weight status of parents. Future research should examine these associations in more countries and in socio-demographically diverse populations in order to facilitate the generalisability of the present study’s findings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1830
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


  • BMI
  • Feel4Diabetes
  • childhood obesity
  • community intervention
  • lifestyle intervention
  • overweight
  • prevalence
  • prevention
  • school
  • socio-economic
  • type 2 diabetes
  • weight

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