Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of sociodemographic and lifestyle variables, eating habits, adolescent weight perception and weight changes on obesity in Turkish adolescents.
Methods: A total of 87 normal weight and 78 obese participants were included in the study. They were selected from adolescents who had no other health problems beside obesity. Underweight and overweight adolescents were excluded. Estimation of prevalence of overweight and obesity were based on cut-off points of the International Obesity Task Force (excess of the 85th and 95th percentiles, respectively). The prevalence of underweight was defined as the percentage of adolescents below the fifth percentiles of the US adolescents’ age- and gender-specific body mass index. A structured questionnaire that included sociodemographic and lifestyle variables, eating habits, weight questions about adolescents’ weight perception and weight changes was administered to the participants.
Results: In the obese group, the level of the mothers’ and fathers’ education was lower than in the normal group (P = 0.006; P = 0.001, respectively). Obese adolescents had fewer obese people in their family (P = 0.001). There were statistically significant correlations between groups for fathers’ occupation, joining in cultural activities, physical exercise, feeling about body shape and food preference (P = 0.014; P = 0.001; P = 0.003; P = 0.001; P = 0.001, respectively). Increase in weight was larger in the obese group (P= 0.001) and those who wanted to loose weight but failed (P = 0.001).
Conclusions: There are associations between obesity and level of mothers’ and fathers’ education, number of obese people in family, fathers’ occupation, joining in cultural activities, physical exercise and food preference in Turkish adolescents.