Prevalence of Pre-Obesity/Obesity in Pre and Basic School Children at Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Keywords:Body Composition, Body Mass Index, Child, Preschool, Overweight, Pediatric Obesity, Portugal, Prevalence.
Introduction: Over 30% of Portuguese children present overweight. Being a serious public health problem with multiple causes, only a cross-sectorial and concerted action could contribute to their resolution. Municipalities have a set of skills that make them ideal for effective intervention in the fight against this problem. For this action to be effective there must be a local assessment of the extent of the problem and their spatial distribution. The aim of this study was to characterize, from the point of view of the prevalence of overweight, the population of pre-school and first cycle basic education under the responsibility of the municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia, the third most populous municipality in the country.
Material and Methods: Were evaluated 8 974 pre and basic-school children, in school year 2013/14. The assessment of the nutritional status of the sample was made using anthropometric measures height and weight. In the classification of nutritional status was considered z-scores or percentiles of body mass index for age according to the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and International Obesity Task Force.
Results: The prevalence of overweight by the World Health Organization requirements was 37.4%. There were some disparities in the distribution of overweight in schools of the municipality.
Discussion: The results were slightly higher than those of other national and international studies, being the sampling size the possible justification for the differences founded.
Conclusion: The prevalence found is high and with irregular geographical distribution, which could help identifying the main causes of the problem at the local level.
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