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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


ABRANTES, Marcelo M.; LAMOUNIER, Joel A.  and  COLOSIMO, Enrico A.. Overweight and obesity prevalence among children and adolescents from Northeast and Southeast regions of Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.4, pp.335-340. ISSN 0021-7557.

Objective: to study the prevalence of obesity and overweight among children and adolescents from Northeast and Southeast regions of Brazil. Methods: data was collected form Life Pattern Research conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in 1997. A sample of 3,317 children and 3,943 adolescents was studied according age groups. Overweight (adolescents) and obesity (adolescents and children) were defined according to World Health Organization recommendations. Z-test was used to compare prevalence among age groups, sex and geographic region. The cut-off point for statistical significance was 0.05. Results: overweight prevalence in adolescents was 1.7% in Northeast and 4.2% in Southeast. Obesity prevalence in adolescents was 6.6% and 8.4% in children and 8.2% and 11.9% in Northeast and Southeast, respectively. Considering both regions prevalence of obese female children was 10.3%, the rate of obese adolescents was 9.3% and overweight adolescents represented 3.0%. Among males prevalence was 9.2%, 7.3% and 2.6%, respectively. Conclusions: obesity prevalence is lower in Northeast than Southeast among children with age from 2 to 17 years old. Overweight prevalence among adolescents was also lower in Northeast than in Southeast. The prevalence of obesity among younger than 2 and older than 18 years old was the same. Obesity prevalence is higher among breast-fed females. Among other age groups prevalence of obesity and overweight was the same for males and females. It is difficult to compare these results with other studies, since there are few populational studies and the criteria used to define overweight and obesity in children and adolescents varies in each study.

Keywords : obesity; overweight; childhood; adolescence.

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