What are the risk factors for severe obesity among children?

Updated: Jun 09, 2021
  • Author: Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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A study by Tester et al found that severely obese children (BMI at or above 120% of the 95th percentile) between ages 2 and 5 years were more likely to have the following characteristics [70] :

  • Be African American (odds ratio [OR]: 1.7) or Hispanic (OR: 2.3)
  • Engage in more than 4 hours of screen time (OR: 2.0)
  • Be from households characterized by a lower level of educational achievement (OR: 2.4)
  • Be from a single-parent household (OR: 2.0)
  • Be from a household living in poverty (OR: 2.1)

In addition, children in this age group who had never been breastfeed were at higher risk of severe obesity (OR: 1.9). [70]

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