Influence of Lifestyle on Overweight and Obesity in School-age Children

Ramic, Enisa; Kapidzic-Durakovic, Suada; Karic, Enisa; Batic-Mujanovic, Olivera; Alibasic, Esad; Zildzic, Muharem
December 2009
Medicinski Arhiv;2009, Vol. 63 Issue 5, p284
Academic Journal
Introduction: Special attention needs to be given to resolution of obesity problem among children because many studies indicate that majority of persons that have suffered from obesity during their child age still have the same problems when they become adults. Incorrect nutritional habits cause health problems at later age. The purpose of this study is to determine the frequency of overweight and obesity occurrence among school-age children, as well as risk factors that certainly lead to obesity. Methods: This research was conducted on sample of 530 pupils from one elementary school from suburban area. Assessed children were from seven to fourteen years old. Anthropometric measurements were taken and questionnaires and general medical examinations followed with the statistical processing of collected data. Results: Based on the Body Mass Index (BMI) considering age and gender of examined subjects we have found that 14.7% subjects were overweight and 7.3% of children were obese. Also, we have determined that children often use food that is identified as risk factor for obesity. Overweight and obesity are directly related to amount of time spent in front of TV set or personal computer (p=0.01). Children that were overweight in 57.1% cases would prefer to change their nutritional habits and 68.4% of obese children would like to do so as well. Children that were obese, in high percent would like to change habits regarding their physical activity (57.9% of them) and overweight children in 33.8% cases. Conclusion: It is necessary to encourage young people to develop healthy nutritional habits, to promote physical activity and sports, and definitely to strongly advice against the sedentary lifestyle. It is crucial to educate parents on healthy nutritional habits and physical activity because they have the strongest influence on their children. Also, effort needs to be taken in schools by increasing number of physical education classes and to provide healthy food in school canteens in order to ensure improvement of physical activity and healthy nutritional habits among children.


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