Secular changes in height, weight and body mass index in Hong Kong Children

Shargie, Estifanos B.; Gebre, Teshome; Ngondi, Jeremiah; Graves, Patricia M.; Mosher, Aryc W.; Emerson, Paul M.; Ejigsemahu, Yeshewamebrat; Endeshaw, Tekola; Olana, Dereje; WeldeMeskel, Asrat; Teferra, Admas; Tadesse, Zerihun; Tilahun, Abate; Yohannes, Gedeon; Richards, Jr, Frank O.
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p320
Academic Journal
Background: Large population growth surveys of children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 y were undertaken in Hong Kong in 1963 and 1993. The global epidemic of obesity is a major public health concern. To monitor the impact of this epidemic in Hong Kong children and to identify secular changes in growth, a further growth survey was undertaken in 2005/6. Methods: Cross-sectional height and weight measurements of 14,842 children and adolescents aged 6 to 18 y from Hong Kong's 18 districts were obtained during the 2005/6 school year. Percentile curves were constructed using LMS method and sex-specific percentile values of weight-for-age, height-for-age, and BMI-for-age were compared with those data from 1963 and 1993. Results: Secular changes in height, weight and BMI were noted between 1963 and 1993 and between 1993 and 2005/6. In the latter period, greater changes were observed at younger ages, and particularly in boys. On an annual basis, the 1993-2005/6 changes were less than those during 1963-1993. Using the International Obesity Task Force cut-offs, 16.7% of children were overweight or obese in 2005/6, which was a 5.1% increase since 1993. Conclusion: These data provide policy-makers with further evidence of the secular changes in child growth and the increasing obesity epidemic among Hong Kong children.


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