Weight Status and Behavioral Problems among Very Young Children in Chile

TitleWeight Status and Behavioral Problems among Very Young Children in Chile
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKagawa, Rose M. C., Lia C. H. Fernald, and Jere R. Behrman
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume11
Paginatione0161380
Accession NumberPMID: 27583678
AbstractBackground/Objectives Our objective was to explore the association between weight status and behavioral problems in children before school age. We examined whether the association between weight status and behavioral problems varied by age and sex. Subjects/Methods This study used cross-sectional data from a nationally-representative sample of children and their families in Chile (N = 11,207). These children were selected using a cluster-stratified random sampling strategy. Data collection for this study took place in 2012 when the children were 1.5–6 years of age. We used multivariable analyses to examine the association between weight status and behavioral problems (assessed using the Child Behavior Checklist), while controlling for child’s sex, indigenous status, birth weight, and months breastfed; primary caregiver’s BMI and education level; and household wealth. Results Approximately 24% of our sample was overweight or obese. Overweight or obese girls showed more behavioral problems than normal weight girls at age 6 (β = 0.270 SD, 95% CI = 0.047, 0.493, P = 0.018). Among boys age 1 to 5 years, overweight/obesity was associated with a small reduction in internalizing behaviors (β = -0.09 SD, 95% CI = -0.163, -0.006, P = 0.034). Conclusions Our data suggest that the associations between weight status and behavioral problems vary across age and sex.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0161380
PMCIDPMCID: PMC5008787