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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557

Abstract

BALABAN, Geni  and  SILVA, Gisélia A.P. da. Overweight and obesity prevalence in children and adolescents from a private school in Recife. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2001, vol.77, n.2, pp. 96-100. ISSN 0021-7557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572001000200008.

OBJECTIVES: to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in students from a private school in Recife; compare the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in boys and girls and in different age groups (children and adolescents) and verify the correlation between body mass index and triceps skinfold thickness in this population. METHODS: cross-sectional study with 762 students (332 children and 430 adolescents) from a middle/upper class school in Recife, in 1999. Overweight was defined as body mass index equal or above the 85th percentile for age and gender. Obesity was defined as body mass index and triceps skinfold thickness equal or above the 85th percentile. RESULTS: the prevalence rates were 26.2% (95%CI = 23 to 29%) for overweight, and 8.5% (CI95% = 6.5 to 10.5%) for obesity. Overweight was more prevalent among children (34.3%) than among adolescents (20.0%) (P < 0.001). Obesity was more frequent among children (14.2%) than among adolescents (4.2%) (P < 0.001). The prevalence of overweight in boys (34.6%) was higher than in girls (20.6%) (P < 0.001). The prevalence of obesity was also higher in boys (14.7%) than in girls (4.4%) (P < 0.001). The correlation coefficient between body mass index and triceps skinfold thickness was equal to 0.64 (95%CI = 0.60 to 0.68). CONCLUSIONS: the prevalence of overweight in our study population was as high as that found in industrialized countries; obesity, however, was less frequent.

Keywords : obesity; prevalence; child.

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