Background and aims Overweight and obesity are defined as ‘’abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’’. Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21 st century, and the prevalence is constantly increasing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the life habit of children, both obese and normal weight (NW).
Methods Especially prepared questionnaire was distributed among 157 school-age children during September 2014. The average age of children was 12 years with equal gender distribution. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in adolescents is defined according to the WHO growth reference for school-aged children and adolescents (overweight=1 SD BMI for age and sex, and obese=2 SD BMI for age and sex).
Results We excluded 13 underweight children from this study, and other 144 we divided into 2 groups: normal weight 91 (63.19%) and obese 53 (36.81%->1 SD 19.44%;>2 SD 17.36%). The highest number of obese children (47%) have less than 3 meals/day (vs. 31% of NW) and 45% have 5 meal/day ( 57% NW). Both groups equally enjoy in sweets (96%), but NW prefer to eat in bakery (92% vs. 85% obese). Fruit is consumed by 96% (every day/occasionally). Fruit juices and sodas are consumed by 91% of children, and energy drinks by 7.7% of obese and 11% of NW. Sport training is an everyday habit of 46% of both groups and 41% of questioned do exercise only occasionally. Highest number of children (60% obese/50% normal) sleep 7–8 hour, while 36% sleep longer than that. Longer than 2 hours per day 40% of students of both groups spend in front of TV/computer, less than one hour 25% of normal and 16% of obese. Chronic disease is a problem for 5% of children.
Conclusion The great number of school-age children don’t have positive life habit. Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Those diseases are largely preventable. Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority.
- life habit
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