Whether maternal factors are associated with childhood obesity: a matched case-control study

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Background: Obesity in childhood has a major impact on health in terms of premature deaths and disabilities worldwide. Evidences from several robust studies has linked maternal obesity has with childhood obesity. Early identification of modifiable risk factors is the key to prevention in this vulnerable group that accounts for 45 percent of the total population in Pakistan.

Objective: The association between childhood obesity, life style factors, and childhood history of breast feeding are mentioned elsewhere. This paper will only address whether maternal factors are related with the obesity in childhood.

Methodology: An age- and sex-matched case–control study conducted from April 2012 to July 2012. Total sample size for the study was 528 school going children, aged 5–14 years of age (132 cases and 396 controls).

Findings: Most of the mothers (64.4%), among the cases, and the controls were between 31–40 years of age. Maternal education was comparatively high for the cases (41%) as compared to the controls (32.1%). The rate of employment among cases and controls was (16.7%), and (13.6%) respectively. 12.9% of mothers among the cases, had positive history for chronic illnesses such as (Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, Asthma), and obesity as compared to (7.3%) of mothers among the controls had these diseases. Likewise, a higher percentage more mothers among the cases (5.3%) reported selfperception of obesity, as compared to controls (2.3%).

Conclusion: We found no conclusive evidence of association between maternal risk factors and childhood obesity. In Pakistan, prospective studies are needed to develop understanding of modifiable risk factors to address the fast flowing epidemic by employing population based studies.


International Journal of Nursing Education