Objective: To evaluate the prevalence and nutritional and social determinants of overweight in a population of schoolchildren in Southern Brazil. Methods: Cross-sectional descriptive study of 5,037 children of both genders, between 6 and 10.9 years of age, from public and private schools of Maringa, Parana, Brazil. Evaluation of factors associated with excess weight (overweight and obesity) included gender, age, school type, socioeconomic level, education of the head of the family, eating habits, and means of commuting to school. After univariate analysis (Fisher's exact test), we adjusted a logistic regression model and used Wald's test for decision-making (p < 0.05). Results: The mean age was 8.7 +/- 1.3 years, with 52.8% females; 79.1% of the students attended public school and 54.6% had families of socioeconomic class A or B. Regarding nutritional status, 24% of children were overweight (7% obesity, 17% overweight). Being male, attending a private school, and having a head of the family with over four years of education were significantly associated with excess weight. In relation to food, inadequate intake of,carbohydrates was associated with a 48% greater chance of overweight/obesity (p < 0.001; OR: 1.48; 95% CI: 1.25-1.76), Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight found in this study is approximate to that reported in national studies. Its association with gender and inadequate food intake indicates that these factors should be considered in initiatives aimed at preventive measures in childhood.