Introduction. The pandemic of obesity in adolescents is one of the challenges of public health.
Aim. The aim of this study was to examine the association of overweight with demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors among Serbian adolescents.
Method. A cross-sectional study of 2139 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years was carried out. Data used in this study were from the 2006 Health Survey. In accordance with the international sex- and age-specific Body Mass Index cut-off points, all participants were classified as being normal weight or overweight, including obese. The association between the risk factors and overweight were examined using a multivariate logistic regression model.
Results. The study showed that 28.9% of boys and 17.0% of girls were overweight, while 14.5% of boys and 8.1% of girls were obese. Boys were more likely to be overweight/obese, compared with girls. Being younger (p< 0.01 for 14 to 15 years) and (p< 0.01, for 16 to 19 years), engaging in physical activities that last less than 7 hours a week, in such a manner that they breathe quickly and become sweaty, (p< 0.01) and skipping breakfast (p< 0.05) were risk factors significantly associated with overweight among adolescents. No significant association was found with wealth index.
Conclusion. These findings should be an integral part of further preventive interventions, especially oriented towards younger adolescents, who are physically inactive, have a habit of skipping breakfast and are boys.