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Shared correlates of maternal and childhood overweight in Cameroon: a cross-sectional analysis of demographic and health survey data.

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Bain, Luchuo Engelbert 
Kongnyuy, Eugene 
Assah, Felix 
Mbanya, Jean Claude 


BACKGROUND: Overweight parents are likelier to bear overweight babies, who are likelier to grow into overweight adults. Understanding the shared risks of being overweight between the mother-child dyad is essential for targeted life course interventions. In this study, we aimed to identify such risk factors in Cameroon. METHODS: We conducted secondary data analysis using Cameroon's 2018 Demographic and Health Surveys. We used weighted multilevel binary logistic regressions to examine individual, household, and community correlates of maternal (15-49 years) and child (under five years) overweight. RESULTS: We retained 4511 complete records for childhood and 4644 for maternal analysis. We found that 37% [95%CI:36-38%] of mothers and 12% [95%CI:11-13%] of children were overweight or obese. Many environmental and sociodemographic factors were positively associated with maternal overweight, namely urban residence, wealthier households, higher education, parity and being a Christian. Childhood overweight was positively associated with a child being older and a mother being overweight, a worker, or a Christian. Therefore, only religion affected both mothers overweight (aOR: 0.71[95%CI:0.56-0.91]) and childhood overweight (aOR 0.67[95%CI: 0.5-0.91]). Most of the potentially shared factors only indirectly affected childhood overweight through maternal overweight. CONCLUSION: Besides religion, which affects both mothers and childhood overweight (with the Muslim faith being protective), much of childhood overweight is not directly explained by many of the observed determinants of maternal overweight. These determinants are likely to influence childhood overweight indirectly through maternal overweight. Extending this analysis to include unobserved correlates such as physical activity, dietary, and genetic characteristics would produce a more comprehensive picture of shared mother-child overweight correlates.



Cameroon, Mother and child, Obesity, Overweight, Adult, Infant, Female, Pregnancy, Humans, Pediatric Obesity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Overweight, Cameroon, Mothers, Demography

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BMC Public Health

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC