Article Text

TRENDS IN THE PREVALENCE OF OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY AT THE AGE OF 3, 6 AND 10 YEARS IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL
  1. Y Bar-David1,
  2. E Gazala1,
  3. J Urkin2
  1. 1Child Health Center, Soroka University Medical Center, Beer-Sheva, Israel
  2. 2Child Health Center, Israel

Abstract

Background Obesity among children has become a worldwide epidemic. It is a threat to health and quality of life and imposes an economic burden on society.

Objectives To evaluate trends in obesity and overweight in 6-year-old children during 6 years (2002–7). To correlate children’s body mass index (BMI) percentiles at age 6 years to their BMI percentiles at age 3 years and 10 years.

Methods Height and weight of children at the age of 6 years were measured. Some of the children were also measured at the age of 10 years. Growth measurements at the age of 3 years were collected from the medical records.

Results 974 children were measured at the age of 6 years (52% of the cohorts). The prevalence of obesity and overweight increased constantly from 25.3% in the year 2003 to 31.1% in 2007. Obesity (BMI ⩾95%) was recorded in 14.1% of the children. At the age of 10 years, 38.9% of the children had BMI ⩾85% and 20% had BMI ⩾95%. Eighty-five per cent of the overweight or obese children at the age of 6 years continued to have BMI ⩾85% at the age of 10 years. At the age of 3 years 16.5% of the toddlers had BMI ⩾85% (n  =  176). A BMI ⩾95% was recorded for 13.6% of them. Ninety-four per cent of the toddlers with BMI ⩾95% continued to have BMI ⩾95% at the age of 6 years.

Conclusion Overweight and obesity is highly prevalent from early age and continues for years. Early intervention should therefore start in the first years of life.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.