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Weight status and obesity-related dietary behaviours among culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children in Victoria, Australia

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posted on 2019-01-01, 00:00 authored by B Scott, Kristy BoltonKristy Bolton, Claudia StrugnellClaudia Strugnell, Steven AllenderSteven Allender, Jennifer Marks
© 2019 The Author(s). Background: In developed economies, obesity prevalence is high within children from some culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. This study aims to identify whether CALD groups in Victoria, Australia, are at increased risk of childhood overweight and obesity, and obesity-related dietary behaviours; compared to their non-CALD counterparts. Methods: Objective anthropometric and self-report dietary behavioural data were collected from 2407 Grade 4 and 6 primary school children (aged 9-12 years). Children were categorised into CALD and non-CALD cultural groups according to the Australian Standard Classification of Languages. Overweight/obesity was defined according to the World Health Organization growth reference standards. Obesity-related dietary behaviour categories included excess consumption of takeaway foods, energy-dense, nutrient-poor snacks and sugar sweetened beverages. T-Tests and chi-square tests were performed to identify differences in weight status and dietary behaviours between CALD and non-CALD children. Logistic regression analyses examined the relationship between CALD background, weight status and dietary behaviours. Results: Middle-Eastern children had a higher overweight/obesity prevalence (53.0%) than non-CALD children (36.7%; p < 0.001). A higher proportion of Middle-Eastern children had excess consumption of takeaway foods (54.9%), energy-dense, nutrient-poor snacks (36.6%) and sugar sweetened beverages (35.4%) compared to non-CALD children (40.4, 27.0 and 25.0%, respectively; p < 0.05). Southeast Asian and African children were 1.58 (95% CI = [1.06, 2.35]) and 1.61 (95% CI = [1.17, 2.21]) times more likely, respectively, to consume takeaway foods at least once per week than non-CALD children. Conclusions: Disparities in overweight/obesity prevalence and obesity-related dietary behaviours among children in Victoria suggest the need for cultural-specific, tailored prevention and intervention strategies.



BMC Pediatrics



Article number



1 - 9




London, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal