Overweight and obesity are not associated with dental caries among 12-year-old South Brazilian schoolchildren

Luana Severo Alves, Cristiano Susin, Nailê Damé-Teixeira, Marisa Maltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives To assess the association between weight status and dental caries among 12-year-old Brazilian schoolchildren. Methods This cross-sectional study was carried out in Porto Alegre using a multistage probability sampling strategy to draw a representative sample of schoolchildren attending public and private schools. Data on demographics, socioeconomic status, oral hygiene habits, anthropometrics, and dental caries were collected. Overweight and obesity were defined according to WHO categories for BMI (body mass index)-for-age Z-scores. Survey Poisson regression models were used to assess the association between weight status and dental caries. Estimates were adjusted for gender, socioeconomic status, and brushing frequency. Prevalence ratios (PR), rate ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were reported. Results One thousand five hundred and twenty-eight of 1837 eligible schoolchildren were examined. Prevalence of overweight and obesity were 22.15% (95% CI = 20.59-23.72) and 13.61% (95% CI = 11.44-15.78), respectively. Caries experience was observed in 55.23% (95% CI = 45.26-65.19) of children. Schoolchildren presented, on average, 1.39 (95% CI = 1.07-1.71) decayed, missing or filled teeth. No significant differences in caries experience or extent were observed among BMI groups. After adjusting for important cofactors, weight status was not associated with caries prevalence (overweight, PR = 0.99; 95% CI = 0.89-1.10; obese, PR = 1.00; 95% CI = 0.87-1.16) or caries extent (overweight, RR = 0.91; 95% CI = 0.74-1.12; obese, RR = 0.86; 95% CI = 0.72-1.04). Conclusions Our findings indicate that overweight and obese adolescents should not be regarded as at higher risk of dental caries in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • dental caries
  • epidemiology
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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