Background This survey, part of the European Project JANPA ( Joint Actions for Nutritional and Physical Activities), aims to the evaluation of obesity prevalence in Romanian children versus obesity prevalence in children of six other European countries: Italy, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia and Ireland.
Material and method A number of 13 surveys and researches developed in Romania at regional or national scale between 2010 and 2016 concerning prevalence of overweight and obesity in children, have been analysed. The results of these surveys were compared to similar epidemiologic surveys available in the six mentioned European countries.
Results Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Romanian children varies between 17% and 30% and the condition affects more boys than girls and particularly school age children than teenagers.
On the other hand the records in Portugal, Grece and Italy show higher levels of children overweight and obesity than in Romania, while in Slovenia and Croatia the prevalence of these conditions was similar to those in Romania for all age groups.
Prevalence of overweight and obesity in pre-school and school age children was higher than in teenagers in all countries except Italy. In infants few surveys on this conditions are available: they show a reduced prevalence in Romania (5.4% following WHO standards) in contrast with Ireland where 24.8% of infants are overweight and 15.7% obese (following UK – WHO growth standards). In most of these countries the surveys show a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity in boys, with a particular situation in Italy where this prevalence is higher in school girls of 7 age group than in boys of 7 age group.
Conclusion In the selected coutries there are similarties and differencies as concerns prevalence, characteristics, gender associations and age-related evolutive aspects of overweight and obesity in children.
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