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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582

Abstract

SILVA JUNIOR, Laércio M.; SANTOS, Angelita Pereira dos; SOUZA, Orivaldo Florencio de  and  FARIAS, Edson dos Santos. Prevalence of excess weight and associated factors in adolescents of private schools of an Amazonic urban area, Brazil. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.2, pp. 217-222. ISSN 0103-0582.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-05822012000200010.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence and factors associated with excess weight among high school students. METHODS: Cross-sectional study with 741 adolescents from private schools in Rio Branco, Acre, Northern Brazil. The weight and height were prospectively measured in order to calculate the body mass index. Overweight was defined according to World Health Organization references in 2007. The following variables were collected: gender, age, socioeconomic status, parental education, number of household members and siblings, physical activity, time watching TV and computer time. Factors associated with excess weight were identified by multiple Poisson regression using the backward elimination procedure for variable selection. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight was 29.5%. Males showed righer prevalence (33.2%) compared with females (26.4%). As for age, the prevalence was higher at 14 years (40%) in both genders. In the multivariate analysis, adjusted for age and gender, more than two hours in the computer per day and a sedentary lifestyle were associated with excess weight. CONCLUSIONS: Excess weight is a serious public health problem in high school students from private institutions of an urban area of the Amazonia Region. The promotion of physical activity and the reduction of time in the computer should be considered as strategies to improve the health of adolescents.

Keywords : overweight; obesity; social class; motor activity; adolescent behavior.

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