Overweight and obesity in early adolescence

Obesity in childhood is becoming a global social-health problem. It is recommended to use the body mass index (BMI) for obesity classification. Many countries have their own standard BMI estimated for age and sex, but not Croatia. There are conflicting results of research based on correlations between birth weight (BW), ponderal index (PI), duration of exclusive breastfeeding (DEBF) with appearance of obesity in early adolescence. The aim of this study was to estimate the risk for occurrence of overweight (OW) and obesity (OB), according to the CDC Growth charts (CDC) and International Obesity Taskforce (IOTF) standards for age and sex; and to analyse if there is a correlation between BW and PI as feeding status index in early childhood, and the correlation between DEBF and OW/OB occurrence at the age of 11 years. In the city of Trogir there were 13.6% girls and 15.5% boys with BMI between the 85th -95th centiles, and 5.3% girls and 7.1% boys with BMI _95th centiles. Values of BMI between 25-29.9 (kg/m2) were found among 19.9% girls and 18.8% boys, also 3.6% girls and 3.4% boys had BMI_30 (kg/m2). Obese children compared with overweight and normal weight children had higher birth weight (3796±485 vs. 3608±574 vs. 3477±496 gram; p=0.0005). DEBF (3.2±1.9 months) did not significantly influence OW and OB, defined according to the CDC (R=0.073) and IOTF standards (R=0.0053). The occurrence of OW and OB was unexpectedly high, and points to the necessity of introducing some preventive health programs. Children with higher BW and PI indispensably need health supervision in order to prevent the occurrence of early obesity. The selection of the most appropriate obesity criteria remains in question, especially for local community based research.
Category: Original scientific paper
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