School level correlates with adiposity in 9-10 year old children

Health Place. 2011 May;17(3):710-6. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.01.009. Epub 2011 Jan 28.


We examined the associations between the physical, social, and policy environments of schools and adiposity in 9-10 year old children in Norfolk, UK. The relationships between 56 school-level variables and Fat Mass Index (FMI; fat mass (kg)/height (m(2))) were investigated among 1724 well characterised children from 92 schools in this cross-sectional study. After stepwise removal of variables from multilevel linear regression models stratified by gender, only three variables were significantly associated with FMI. Among girls, attending a school with more pupils in the year group was associated with lower FMI, and attending a school with better cycle provision was associated with higher FMI. In boys being allowed to eat any food at break-time was associated with higher FMI. There was some evidence of moderation of the relationship between cycle provision and FMI by urban-rural location. These data suggest that few school factors are associated with FMI, and provide limited pointers to inform potential future school-based interventions to reduce obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity / physiology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology