Childhood obesity.

Cláudia Dias da Costa, Maria Gomes Ferreira, Rosário Amaral

Abstract


Childhood obesity, due to the exponential increase of this chronic disease, is now considered a XXI century epidemic disease. Portugal, the sixth European country where this disease is more prevalent, expends 3,5% of the annual health budget with this pathology.Characterization of the obese children followed in the pediatric outpatient clinic.A twelve year cohort study who comprehended 482 kids, analysing demographic variables; family and social backgrounds; personal backgrounds; habits; body mass index (BMI); comorbidities; blood tests; clinical intervention and follow-up.A positive family history with, at least, two obese elements was found in 64%, of the 246 boys (51%) and 236 girls (49%) analysed. We observed a 93% rate of eutocic delivery for an average birth weight of 3585 gr. These children were exclusively breastfeed for, at least, four months, in 38% of the cases. In our sample, we found an average of three meals per day, with an 81% rate of take-way. The absence of a regular physical activity plan was observed in 89% of the sample. Anthropometric evaluation and counselling about healthy habits were focused through all appointments. For a follow-up of 16 months (+/- 7 months), a 10% success rate was obtained, with an 1,22 BMI reduction. We verified a 20% dismissed rate, averagely occurring in the first 12 months (+/- 3 months).On the whole, the characterization of our sample seems to be according to the children obesity literature. Trough out follow-up, commitment to the interventional schedule was critical for life-style modification and desirable BMI achievement. Regular appointments and periodic evaluation of the results seems to be reliable strategies in the fight of this epidemic disease.

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