Nicklas TA, Yang SJ, Baranowski T, Zakeri I, Berenson G. Eating patterns and obesity in children. The Bogalusa Heart Study. Am J Prev Med 2003 Jul;25(1):9-16.


BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity is a growing public health problem. This study examined the association between eating patterns and overweight status in children who participated in the Bogalusa Heart Study. METHODS: A single 24-hour dietary recall was collected on a cross-sectional sample of 1562 children aged 10 years (65% Euro-American [EA], 35% African American [AA]) over a 21-year period. Overweight was defined as body mass index greater than the 85th percentile using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reference standards. Multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate the association between eating patterns and overweight. RESULTS: Consumption of sweetened beverages (58% soft drinks, 20% fruit flavor drinks, 19% tea, and 3% coffee) (p<0.001); sweets (desserts, candy, and sweetened beverages) (p<0.001); meats (mixed meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, pork, and beef) (p<0.051); and total consumption of low-quality foods (p<0.01) were positively associated with overweight status. Total amount of food consumed, specifically from snacks, was positively associated with overweight status (p<0.05). There was a lack of congruency in the types of eating patterns associated with overweight status across four ethnic-gender groups. The percent variance explained from the eating pattern-overweight models was very small. The interaction of ethnicity and gender was significantly associated with overweight status (p<0.001). The odds of being overweight for EA males were 1.2 times higher than for AA females. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that numerous eating patterns were associated with overweight status, yet the odds of being overweight were very small. Additional studies are needed to confirm these findings in a longitudinal sample having multiple days of assessment.

Full Text

The full text is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0749-3797(03)00098-9

At A Glance

Individual Dietary Behavior Variables

Total Energy/Energy Density
Sweetened Beverages
100% Juice
Low-fat Dairy
Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value
Meal/Snack Patterns
Eating/Snacking Frequency


Individual Dietary Behavior

Measure Type

24-hour dietary recall

Measure Availability

Not reported

Number of Items

Not applicable

Study location

Small Town/Rural

Bogalusa, LA, USA



Information about Development of Measure

Nothing to add

Study Design

Study Participants


6 - 11 Years






Black/African American

Predominantly Low-income/Low-SES

Not reported

Sample Size


Study Design

Design Type


Health Outcomes Assessed


Dietary intake/behavior

Obesity Measures

BMI for age

BMI Measured or Self-reported

Measured height

Measured weight


Sociodemographic characteristics (socioeconomic status, race)

Data Reported on Race/Ethnicity

Quantitative data on study sample

Data Reported on SES

Not applicable

SES-related Variables

Not applicable

How To Use


Who Administered


How Administered


Time Required

Not reported

Training Required

Yes, time not reported

Instructions on Use

Not reported

Data Analysis

Data Collection/Analysis Costs

Not available

Data Collection/Protocol

The timeframe of the 24-hour recall period included everything the child consumed from the time he/she woke up until the time of the interveiw and everthing after the interveiw time on the previous day until the time the child went to bed.

Instructions on Data Analysis

Not reported

Validity (0)

There are no validity tests reported for this measure.

Reliability (0)

There are no reliability tests reported for this measure.