Public Health Nutrition

Special Groups

The profile of the Greek ‘XXL’ family

Athanasios Christoforidisa1 c1, Spyros Batziosa1, Haralampos Sidiropoulosa2, Maria Provatidoua2 and Dimitris Cassimosa3

a1 1st Paediatric Department, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, 49, Konstantinoupoleos Street, 54246 Thessaloniki, Greece

a2 Health Centre of Eleftheroupoli, Kavala, Greece

a3 Paediatric Department, Dimokritio University, Alexandroupoli, Greece


Objective To identify Greek families in which all members were overweight or obese (XXL families) and to describe their profile with regard to their socio-economic status and their eating behaviours and practices.

Design A prospective cohort study.

Setting The metropolitan area of Kavala.

Subjects We recruited children aged 11 and 12 years from twelve primary schools, and their parents, from volunteers. Auxologic measurements of the children included height and weight. A structured questionnaire pertaining to information on the socio-economic status of the family, anthropometric values and educational status of parents, dietary habits and the availability of various food products and beverages at home, as well as dietary intake, physical activity, time spent sleeping and time spent watching television, was filled in by one of the parents of each child. A total of 331 families finally participated.

Results In sixty-one families (18·43 %) both parents and child were either overweight or obese (XXL family), and in seven of these families all members were obese. Only twenty-eight families (8·46 %) had all members with a normal BMI. The XXL family was associated with lower educational status of both parents, whereas a higher percentage of XXL families resided in rural areas and had lower income. Skipping breakfast and spending more than 3 h in front of a screen every day were more frequently observed in XXL families. With regard to the availability of various food products and beverages at home, no significant differences were observed between XXL families and the rest of the studied families.

Conclusions Greek XXL families have lower educational status and lower annual income.

(Received November 22 2010)

(Accepted March 22 2011)

(Online publication May 16 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: Email