Article| Volume 30, ISSUE 5, P444-452, September 2016

Characterization of Childhood Obesity and Behavioral Factors

Published:November 21, 2015DOI:


      • In this sample of Michigan children, 41.9% were obese and 16.2% were overweight.
      • Sleep duration was found to be a significant predictor of overweight/obese status.
      • Frequency of breakfast consumption was a significant predictor of overweight/obesity.



      Childhood obesity is a major public health threat in the United States. Recent data indicate that 34.2% of children ages 6 to 11 years are overweight or obese. The purpose of this study is to describe childhood obesity levels and identify risk behaviors in two school-based health centers in Michigan, one urban and one rural.


      This study is a secondary data analysis from a multicenter comparative effectiveness trial. Multiple logistic regression was used to examine behavioral factors associated with overweight/obesity in children.


      In this sample (n = 105), 41.9% were obese and 16.2% were overweight. The duration of sleep per night (p = .04) and the frequency of eating breakfast (p = .04) were significant predictors of being overweight/obese.


      Health care providers in school-based health centers must be comfortable assessing, preventing, and treating childhood obesity in this high-risk group of patients. Interventions should encourage children to eat breakfast daily and to get adequate sleep.

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      Jessica Olson, Honors Graduate, College of Nursing, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO.


      Heather Aldrich, Research Coordinator, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, College of Nursing, Aurora, CO.


      Tiffany J. Callahan, Professional Research Assistant, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO.


      Ellyn E. Matthews, Associate Professor, College of Nursing, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.


      Bonnie Gance-Cleveland, Professor, College of Nursing, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO.