ESPE Abstracts (2019) 92 P2-106

School-age Children Awareness of Seriousness of Obesity Problem, Health-related Outcomes and Effectiveness of Self-control Preventive Strategies

Tetyana Chaychenko, Margaryta Gonchar, Tetyana Chumachenko, Nadiia Buginskaya


Kharkiv National Medical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine


Background: Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that may well be prevented by the life style modification. Therefore school-age children awareness of the problem is crucial for the educational programs.

Subjects Methods: This work is a part of the complex project "Assessment of the current nutritional status, nutrition-related health problems in school-age children in Ukraine". 392 school-age children were included and grouped by the age: primary school (aged 6–9, n=75), secondary school (aged 10–14, n=202) and high school (aged 15–18, n=115). Original questionnaire was elaborated for the survey and consist of both multiple choice questions and «open questions» that encouraged children to give their own idea with the purpose of understanding a real awareness of the problem. Answers to the open questions about the causes and effects of obesity were analyzed. Standard statistics used to assess the results.

Results: Awareness of seriousness obesity problem gradually increases with age (primary school – 58,67 %, secondary school – 70,51 %, high school – 91,67 %, P<0,05). One third of respondents regardless of age (primary school – 29,31 %, secondary school – 29,21 %, high school – 33,04 %, p>0,05) understand that obesity can cause serious health-related problems and the most detrimental changes occur in the cardiovascular system.

We discovered that secondary-school children are less worrying of having obesity whereas more than half of high-school children are positive concerning obesity likelihood in them (P<0,05).

Self-controlled situations is a main causative of the obesity for more than half surveyed children (53,33 % of primary school, 53,46 % of secondary school children and 41,74 % high school children, p>0,05). Portion size as effective method of the obesity prevention was mentioned by 38,67 % of primary school, 48,08 % of secondary school children and 75.0% high school children, (P<0,01). Meantime just 30-40 % of respondents have an experience of the portion size control and 15-20 % do it episodically (p>0,05). Lack of experience and circumstances such as busy timetable were named as a main barrier for that.

Less than 10 % of children are not aware of the causes of obesity and possible outcomes. Meantime, 30 % of respondents were not compliant with the survey.

Conclusions: Regardless of age school-children are aware of seriousness of obesity problem, health-related outcomes and effectiveness of self-control preventive strategies. Special education is necessary with the purpose of gaining relevant life style skills.

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