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Associated childhood obesity risk factors are not well established in developing countries such as Zimbabwe and this information is essential for tailored intervention development. This study aimed to identify prominent risk factors for overweight/obese and overfat/obese among primary school children of Mashonaland West Province in Zimbabwe. A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted using multi-stage random cluster sampling approach (30 × 30). Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression was employed and identified the risk factors for overweight/obese and overfat/obese. A total of 974 participants were enrolled in the study. Prominent significant risk factors of overweight/obese after multivariable adjustment were higher socio-economic households; parental diabetes status; and living in Makonde, Zvimba, Sanyati or Mhondoro-Ngezi district as opposed to Hurungwe district. Risk factors for overfat/obese that remained statically significant were children in urban areas (aOR = 3.19, 95% CI: 2.18-4.66, p = 0.000), being one child in a household, and parents who have diabetes mellitus. Living in Makonde, Sanyati, and Zvimba district remained associated with overfat/obese compared to Hurungwe district. This study has identified prominent proximal determinants of overweight/obese and overfat/obese among primary school children in Zimbabwe, to better assist policy guidance. Aggressive education on good nutrition activities should be tailored and targeted to most affected urban areas within high-risk districts.

Original publication





International journal of environmental research and public health

Publication Date





Discipline of Public Health, School of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4001, South Africa.


Humans, Diabetes Mellitus, Body Mass Index, Prevalence, Logistic Models, Risk Factors, Cross-Sectional Studies, Residence Characteristics, Developing Countries, Socioeconomic Factors, Child, Zimbabwe, Female, Male, Overweight, Pediatric Obesity