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Parity and Overweight/Obesity in Peruvian Women
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    The rise in noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors in developing countries may have changed or intensified the effect of parity on obesity. We aimed to assess this association in Peruvian women using data from a nationally representative survey.


    We used data from Peru’s Demographic and Health Survey, 2012. Parity was defined as the number of children ever born to a woman. We defined overweight as having a body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) of 25.0 to 29.9 and obesity as a BMI ≥30.0. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate the association between parity and BMI and BMI categories, by area of residence and age, adjusting for confounders.


    Data from 16,082 women were analyzed. Mean parity was 2.25 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.17–2.33) among rural women and 1.40 (95% CI, 1.36–1.43) among urban women. Mean BMI was 26.0 (standard deviation, 4.6). We found evidence of an association between parity and BMI, particularly in younger women; BMI was up to 4 units higher in rural areas and 2 units higher in urban areas. An association between parity and BMI categories was observed in rural areas as a gradient, being highest in younger women.


    We found a positive association between parity and overweight/obesity. This relationship was stronger in rural areas and among younger mothers.

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