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Table 1 Descriptive information of included studies

From: Trends and prevalence of overweight and obesity in primary school aged children in the Republic of Ireland from 2002-2012: a systematic review

Author Data collection years Estimating prevalence primary aim of study Sample size# National or regional data Age Setting Response rate Design Sampling Study quality (out of 8)
Nationally based data
Whelton et al. [21] 2001-2002 Yes 14036 National 4-13 Primary schools 68% of children Cross-sectional Clustered sampling with schools as the clustering unit. Children were randomly selected on the basis of age, gender, location of school and water type. Primary school children in junior infants, second and sixth class (year 1, 4 & 8 of enrolment) were invited to take part 6
O’Neill et al. [22] 2003-2004 Yes 596 National 5-12 Primary schools 66% of children Cross-sectional A list of primary schools was obtained from the Dept of Education and Science. Schools were categorised by location, gender, size and disadvantaged status. Schools were randomly selected from each category and children randomly selected and invited to take part 5
Layte & McCrory [23] 2007-2008 Yes 8136 National 9.0-9.9 Home 57% of children Cross-sectional analysis of a longitudinal study In stage one, primary schools were randomly selected using a probability proportionate to size (PPS) sampling method and in stage two a random sample of age eligible children from within each school were invited to take part 7
Heavey et al. [13] 2008 Yes 2420 National 7.0-7.9 Primary schools 72% of children Cross-sectional, round 1 of WHO COSI programme A nationally representative sample of primary schools were selected using a PPS sampling strategy. Children in first class (year 3 of enrolment) were recruited to participate. One class of first class children were selected from large schools 7
Heinen et al. [14] 2010 Yes 996 National 7.0-7.7 Primary schools 64% of children Cross-sectional, round 2 of WHO COSI programme Schools who took part in round 1 [12] of this surveillance initiative were invited to take part in round 2. Only children aged 7 in first class were considered in this current analysis. One class of first class children were selected from large schools 6
Heinen et al. [14] 2012 Yes 991 National 7.0-7.7 Primary schools 55% of children Cross-sectional, round 3 of WHO COSI programme Schools who took part in round 1 [12] of this surveillance initiative were invited to take part in round 3. Only children aged 7 in first class were considered in this current analysis. One class of first class children were selected from large schools 6
Regionally based data
McMaster et al. [24] 2001-2002 Yes 328 Regional (Counties Leitrim and Cavan) 4.2-7.9 Primary schools 91% of records had height & weight measures Retrospective cohort All senior infants (year 2 of enrolment) from all schools in the former North Western Health Board area. Paper copies of school health records were retrospectively hand searched for height and weight data in March 2003 7
Harrison et al. [25] 2003 No 312 Regional (South-East of Ireland) 9-11 Primary schools 99% of children Baseline findings from a health education intervention Schools in areas of social disadvantage located in the South East of Ireland were recruited to participate and children from 4th class (year 6 of enrolment) were invited to partake 5
Evans et al. [26] 2004-2007 Yes 3493 Regional (County Mayo) 6.0-6.9 Primary schools 99.7% of children Cross-sectional All children from all 189 primary schools in County Mayo had height and weight measures taken as part of the school health check between February 2005 and June 2008 7
Barron et al. [27] 2007 Yes 969 Regional (County Kildare) 4.5-13.5 Primary schools 83% of children Cross-sectional Data collected from 2 single sex primary schools in a town in County Kildare as part of a larger research project 5
Murrin et al. [28] 2007-2008 No 529 (at follow up) Regional data (Counties Dublin and Galway) 5-7 Home 62% of mothers at follow-up Cross-sectional analysis of a prospective observational cross-generational linkage cohort Sample of 1124 expectant mothers recruited at 1st antenatal hospital visit in 2 hospitals over an 18 month period from 2001-2003 [29] 7
Belton et al. [30] 2008 No 301 Regional (greater Dublin) 6-9 Primary schools 97% of children Cross-sectional Four mixed gender schools from the greater Dublin area were selected to take part in the study 3
Fitzgerald, [31] 2008-2009 No 204 Regional (West of Ireland) 9-12 Primary schools 58% of children Cross-sectional Primary schools were randomly selected from the Department of Education and Science list of schools and invited to take part in the study. All children in 4th to 6th class (years 6-8, of enrolment) were invited to take part 6
HSE Meath, 2009 (unpublished observations) 2009 Yes 1468 Regional (County Meath) 11-13 Primary schools 63% of children Cross-sectional A complete sample of primary schools from County Meath were invited to partake and all children in 6th class (year 8 of enrolment) of participating schools invited to take part 6
Hollywood et al. [32] 2009 No 537 Regional (County Dublin) 4-12 Primary schools Details not provided Baseline findings from a prospective cohort study Primary school children from urban disadvantaged areas located in Revitalising Areas by Planning Investment and Development (RAPID) areas in Dublin took part in study. All children in Junior infants to 5th class (year 1- 7 of enrolment) were invited to take part 5
Keane et al. 2013 (unpublished observations) 2012-2013 Yes 1068 Regional (County Cork) 8-11 Primary schools 65% of children Cross-sectional A list of primary schools was obtained from the Dept of Education and Science website. Schools were recruited using a PPS sample (with further purposive sampling) of Cork city primary schools and all rural schools from one area in Cork County were invited to partake. All children in 3rd and 4th class (year 5 and 6 of enrolment) were invited to take part 6
  1. #Sample sizes only include valid number of age eligible participants who provided valid objective height and weight measures.