Dental caries and body mass index among a population of primary school children in Nigeria
Objective: To determine the association between body mass index and dental caries in a population of school children in Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted among children in a primary school in Lagos, Nigeria. The children were examined for dental caries according to 2013 World Health Organization criteria. Each child also had their body mass index calculated and categorized as underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese according to the World Health Organization guidelines. Other variables obtained were age, gender and access to money to purchase snacks at school. The data were analysed using STATA 13.0 (Stata Corp. 2013. Statistical Software. Release 13. College Station, TX, USA). Odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals were used to report the association between dental caries status and the predictor variables.
Results: A total of 169 children took part in this study and 44 (26.0%) of the children had dental caries. Most of the students were of normal weight (110; 65%) followed by overweight (28; 17%) and obese (21;12%). Only 10 (6%) of the children were underweight. Less than one third of the children (48; 28%) reported that they usually had money to purchase snacks at school. Children who were overweight, underweight and who had money to purchase snacks at school were more likely to have dental caries.
Conclusion: There was no statistically significant association between dental caries and body mass index.