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Jornal de Pediatria

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


ALVES, João Guilherme Bezerra; SIQUEIRA, Pollyanna P.  and  FIGUEIROA, José Natal. Overweight and physical inactivity in children living in favelas in the metropolitan region of Recife, Brazil. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2009, vol.85, n.1, pp.67-71. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity and its association with physical activity levels in children living in favelas in the city of Recife, state of Pernambuco, Brazil. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed with 973 children ranging from 7 to 10 years old, all from two favelas in Recife, Fragoso and Caranguejo (total population of 9,315); of the 973 children assessed, 733 were included in the study. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) equal to or above the 85th percentile, and obesity as BMI equal to or above the 95th percentile, using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts. Physical activity level was assessed by the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C). Children with scores > 3 were considered active, while those with scores < 3 were considered inactive. RESULTS: Of the 733 children studied, overweight and obesity were observed in 92 (12.6%). There was no statistical association between physical inactivity and sex, income, maternal schooling, number of siblings and hours of television. However, more children with physical inactivity were observed among overweight or obese children, 66/92 (71.6%) vs. 363/641 (56.7%) (p = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is high, and is associated with physical inactivity in children living in favelas in the city of Recife, Brazil.

Keywords : Child; overweight; obesity; motor activity.

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