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Country development and the association between parity and overweight
Authors: S A Kim, A D Stein and R Martorell
Source: International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders
Topic(s): Economics
Fertility
Obesity
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: OCT 2006
Abstract: Introduction: Parity is associated with overweight and obesity in developed countries and has been related to maternal depletion in poor developing countries. However, the literature from developing countries is limited and may not represent current stages of development. Methods: We analyzed data from 50 Demographic and Reproductive Health Surveys conducted between 1992 and 2003. We examined the association between parity (proxied by number of live births) and overweight (body mass index (BMI)25 kg/m2) in relation to level of country wealth and development. Results: The odds ratio (OR) for overweight comparing women with at least four live births to women with one live birth was >1.0 in 38 of the 50 countries studied. The median OR was >1.0 in all regions studied and highest in North Africa/West Asia, where all countries had OR >1.0. Country wealth and development were both positively associated with the ORs. Conclusions: The importance of parity as a predictor of overweight increases with national economic development and wealth. Policy implications might include the development and implementation of programs to prevent excessive gestational weight gain and promote postpartum weight loss via dietary change and physical activity, concomitant with exclusive breastfeeding.