Background: Weight disturbances in children are an important problem, both underweight and obesity having important health consequences. There is an ongoing debate about their cause, the risk factors involved and the need for public health policies focused on their prevention.
Objective and hypotheses: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of weight disturbances in a cohort of school-aged children and to analyse some factors considered to play a role in their aetiology.
Method: An observational study was conducted in 16 schools in Mures County, Romania, between November 2013 and May 2014, on a random sample of 1923 children 614 years of age. Variables analysed: ages, sex, environment, birthweight, gestational age, and BMI S.D. score.
Method: Each child was measured and weighted using metrological checked instruments and a legal representative had to fill in a questionnaire regarding perinatal factor upon signing the written consent. The WHO and Swiss BMI charts were used for anthropological assessment. Statistical analysis used M.O. Excel and MedCalc v. 12.5 with a level of significance of 0.05.
Results: The prevalence of underweight was 2.81% (WHO) and 2.86% (Swiss). Overweight and obesity had a prevalence of 9.57 and 5.04% respectively (WHO charts). Boys have a higher probability of being overweighed (OR 1.45, CI 1.061.97, P=0.01), but not underweight (OR 1.14, CI 0.681.92, P=0.61). Prematurity or low birth weight are not associated with higher odds of weight disturbances. Children from rural areas have higher odds of being underweight (OR 2.15, CI 1.273.65, P=0.0014). There is a significant difference in the prevalence of overweight adjusted for age (P=0.005).
Conclusion: From the various factors analysed sex was the only significant one influencing weight disturbances in school aged children.
01 - 03 Oct 2015
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology