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Jornal de Pediatria

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


OLIVEIRA, Ana Mayra A. de; CERQUEIRA, Eneida de M.M.  and  OLIVEIRA, Antônio César de. Prevalence of overweight and childhood obesity in Feira de Santana-BA: family detection x clinical diagnosis. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2003, vol.79, n.4, pp.325-328. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVES: to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children attending public and private schools in the urban area of Feira de Santana-BA; to evaluate both the perception of excessive weight gain by guardians and the prevalence of treatment of those children. METHOD: cross-sectional study with 699 children, whose age ranged from 5 to 9 years old, attending public and private schools of Feira de Santana-BA in 2001. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) > 85th percentile and obesity as BMI > 95th percentile both for age and gender. The level of perception of children's excessive weight gain by guardians was evaluated by means of individual interviews. RESULTS: total prevalence rates were 9.3% for overweight and 4.4% for obesity, without statistically significant difference among age and gender. White ethnic group was related only to overweight. Prevalence for overweight and obesity was, respectively, 6.5% and 2.7% for public schools and 13.4% and 7.0% for private ones. Guardians suspected that 11.7% of the children presented excessive weight gain. Only 11.1% of them were submitted to treatment. A percentage of 22.2% of these treatments were performed by specialized professionals. CONCLUSIONS: the prevalence of overweight and obesity was high and similar to some studies in Brazil; even though excessive weight gain can be recognized by children's guardians, they are not aware of the necessity of treatment.

Keywords : overweight; obesity; prevalence.

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