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Prevalence and Trend of Overweight and Obesity among Schoolchildren in Ahvaz, Southwest of Iran

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      Abstract

      Introduction:

      Obesity is an important risk factor for some chronic diseases. Since the effect of obesity is long-standing, monitoring childhood obesity should be the first step in the health policy for interventions regarding early prevention of chronic diseases. In this study we aim to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity among school children in the city of Ahvaz.

      Methods:

      A cross-sectional survey was designed. A sample of 5811 children, 2904 (49.97%) boys and 2907 (50.03%) girls, was selected and their heights and weights were measured in 2012-2013 academic year. Measurements of height and weight were made by using calibrated equipment and according to standardized protocol with the children having light clothes and without wearing shoes. The adjusted odds ratio of obesity and overweight for age and sex were calculated from multiple logistic regression model.

      Results:

      A total 685 (23.6%) of boys and 561 (19.3%) of girls were overweight. and 190(6.05%) of boys and 130 (4.5%) of girls were obese. The proportion of overweight and obese boys was significantly higher than that of girls (p<0.001). Logistic regression showed significant increase in the likelihood of being overweight with the increasing age OR=1.50, C.I.95%: (1.43, 1.57).

      Conclusion:

      The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased markedly with age. This shows the importance of early prevention by doing interventions and training since the first year of primary school.

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      Most cited references 24

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      Global prevalence and trends of overweight and obesity among preschool children.

      Childhood obesity is associated with serious health problems and the risk of premature illness and death later in life. Monitoring related trends is important. The objective was to quantify the worldwide prevalence and trends of overweight and obesity among preschool children on the basis of the new World Health Organization standards. A total of 450 nationally representative cross-sectional surveys from 144 countries were analyzed. Overweight and obesity were defined as the proportion of preschool children with values >2 SDs and >3 SDs, respectively, from the World Health Organization growth standard median. Being "at risk of overweight" was defined as the proportion with values >1 SD and ≤2 SDs, respectively. Linear mixed-effects modeling was used to estimate the rates and numbers of affected children. In 2010, 43 million children (35 million in developing countries) were estimated to be overweight and obese; 92 million were at risk of overweight. The worldwide prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity increased from 4.2% (95% CI: 3.2%, 5.2%) in 1990 to 6.7% (95% CI: 5.6%, 7.7%) in 2010. This trend is expected to reach 9.1% (95% CI: 7.3%, 10.9%), or ≈60 million, in 2020. The estimated prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in Africa in 2010 was 8.5% (95% CI: 7.4%, 9.5%) and is expected to reach 12.7% (95% CI: 10.6%, 14.8%) in 2020. The prevalence is lower in Asia than in Africa (4.9% in 2010), but the number of affected children (18 million) is higher in Asia. Childhood overweight and obesity have increased dramatically since 1990. These findings confirm the need for effective interventions starting as early as infancy to reverse anticipated trends.
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        Prevalence of high body mass index in US children and adolescents, 2007-2008.

        The prevalence of high body mass index (BMI) among children and adolescents in the United States appeared to plateau between 1999 and 2006. To provide the most recent estimates of high BMI among children and adolescents and high weight for recumbent length among infants and toddlers and to analyze trends in prevalence between 1999 and 2008. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008, a representative sample of the US population with measured heights and weights on 3281 children and adolescents (2 through 19 years of age) and 719 infants and toddlers (birth to 2 years of age). Prevalence of high weight for recumbent length (> or = 95th percentile of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts) among infants and toddlers. Prevalence of high BMI among children and adolescents defined at 3 levels: BMI for age at or above the 97th percentile, at or above the 95th percentile, and at or above the 85th percentile of the BMI-for-age growth charts. Analyses of trends by age, sex, and race/ethnicity from 1999-2000 to 2007-2008. In 2007-2008, 9.5% of infants and toddlers (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.3%-11.7%) were at or above the 95th percentile of the weight-for-recumbent-length growth charts. Among children and adolescents aged 2 through 19 years, 11.9% (95% CI, 9.8%-13.9%) were at or above the 97th percentile of the BMI-for-age growth charts; 16.9% (95% CI, 14.1%-19.6%) were at or above the 95th percentile; and 31.7% (95% CI, 29.2%-34.1%) were at or above the 85th percentile of BMI for age. Prevalence estimates differed by age and by race/ethnic group. Trend analyses indicate no significant trend between 1999-2000 and 2007-2008 except at the highest BMI cut point (BMI for age > or = 97th percentile) among all 6- through 19-year-old boys (odds ratio [OR], 1.52; 95% CI, 1.17-2.01) and among non-Hispanic white boys of the same age (OR, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.22-2.94). No statistically significant linear trends in high weight for recumbent length or high BMI were found over the time periods 1999-2000, 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2005-2006, and 2007-2008 among girls and boys except among the very heaviest 6- through 19-year-old boys.
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          Childhood obesity, prevalence and prevention

          Childhood obesity has reached epidemic levels in developed countries. Twenty five percent of children in the US are overweight and 11% are obese. Overweight and obesity in childhood are known to have significant impact on both physical and psychological health. The mechanism of obesity development is not fully understood and it is believed to be a disorder with multiple causes. Environmental factors, lifestyle preferences, and cultural environment play pivotal roles in the rising prevalence of obesity worldwide. In general, overweight and obesity are assumed to be the results of an increase in caloric and fat intake. On the other hand, there are supporting evidence that excessive sugar intake by soft drink, increased portion size, and steady decline in physical activity have been playing major roles in the rising rates of obesity all around the world. Consequently, both over-consumption of calories and reduced physical activity are involved in childhood obesity. Almost all researchers agree that prevention could be the key strategy for controlling the current epidemic of obesity. Prevention may include primary prevention of overweight or obesity, secondary prevention or prevention of weight regains following weight loss, and avoidance of more weight increase in obese persons unable to lose weight. Until now, most approaches have focused on changing the behaviour of individuals in diet and exercise. It seems, however, that these strategies have had little impact on the growing increase of the obesity epidemic. While about 50% of the adults are overweight and obese in many countries, it is difficult to reduce excessive weight once it becomes established. Children should therefore be considered the priority population for intervention strategies. Prevention may be achieved through a variety of interventions targeting built environment, physical activity, and diet. Some of these potential strategies for intervention in children can be implemented by targeting preschool institutions, schools or after-school care services as natural setting for influencing the diet and physical activity. All in all, there is an urgent need to initiate prevention and treatment of obesity in children.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
            [2 ]Golestan Hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
            [3 ]Golestan Hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
            [4 ]Department of Health, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran
            [5 ]Health Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran
            Author notes
            Correspondence: Farshid Kompani, Pediatric Nephrologist, Golestan Hospital, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran. E-mail: far.kom46@ 123456gmail.com
            Journal
            Glob J Health Sci
            Glob J Health Sci
            Global Journal of Health Science
            Canadian Center of Science and Education (Canada )
            1916-9736
            1916-9744
            March 2014
            26 November 2013
            : 6
            : 2
            : 35-41
            24576363 4825244 GJHS-6-35 10.5539/gjhs.v6n2p35
            Copyright: © Canadian Center of Science and Education

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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