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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1000-1004

Epidemiology of obesity among primary school children (6–12 years), Menoufia Governorate


Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Al-Menoufia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Sally Abdel-Wanees Mehesin
Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Gamal Abdel Nasser Street, Shebin Al-Kom, Al-Menoufia 32511
Egypt
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.202529

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Objectives The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and identify possible risk factors for obesity in a representative sample of primary school children (6–12 years) in Menoufia Governorate. Background Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. Patients and methods A case–control study nested in a cross-sectional study was carried out in Menoufia Governorate. It was conducted in El-Bagour district. The sample consisted of 306 students (148 boys and 158 girls). Children were asked to fill a predesigned questionnaire, and anthropometric measures were taken. Results The prevalence of obesity and overweight was 19.6%. It was significantly higher among girls (24.7%) than among boys (14.2%) and among urban participants (22.1%) than among rural ones (11.3%). The prevalence of obesity among children from families with sufficient income was significantly higher (22.4%) than that in children from families without sufficient income (9.2%), and in children with a positive family history of obesity (27.3%) than in those with a negative family history (14.6%). Obesity prevalence was significantly higher among children with intake of fast food more than three times per week (81.2%) than in children who consume fast food less than three times per week (1.7%). It was significantly higher among those who take high-calorie snacks like sweets or chips (30.9%) than in those who take low-caloric snacks like vegetables and fruits (13.3%). The prevalence of obesity among children who exercise for less than 2 h per day was significantly higher (34.6%) than that among those who exercise more than 2 h per day (8.9%). Conclusion Obesity is a serious health problem. To face this, there should be programs initiated by the government, especially by Ministries of Education and Health, targeted at both children and parents through different public media. Programs should focus on the nutritional needs and feeding habits of these children.


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