Background: Obesity in childhood and adolescence represents a major health problem and its management requires a multidisciplinary approach.
Objective and hypotheses: To assess the main eating habits of children and adolescents attending an Out-patient Clinic for the Prevention and Management of Overweight and Obesity in Greece, as recorded before implementing any intervention.
Method: We studied 1005 children and adolescents [age range 118 years old, 45% boys, 55% girls, 52.4% prepubertal, 47,6% pubertal], who attend our Out-patient Clinic. According to their BMI, subjects were classified as obese, overweight or of normal BMI. On their first Clinic visit, patients and/or their parents completed the semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire ToyBox, which records the frequency and the habitual amount of consumption of the main food groups, as well as the breakfast eating habits. The mean daily consumption of each food group was then estimated.
Results: 12% of children and adolescents had normal BMI, 27% were overweight and 61% were obese. Overweight children consumed more sugary cereals (P=0.038), while obese children ate more meat products (P=0.004) and fries (P=0.001). Boys drank more soft drinks daily and ate more sugary cereals, white and brown bread, meat and cold cuts (P<0.05), while girls drank more milk (P<0.001). Consumption of soft drinks, chocolate and savory snacks increased with age (P<0.05), however, the opposite was observed for milk (P=0.029). Adolescents consumed more treats, sugary cereals, bread, meat and cold cuts (P<0.05). Finally, a statistically significant association was observed between the BMI of the child or adolescent and the BMI of their parents (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The eating habits of children and adolescents attending our Out-patient Clinic for the Prevention and Management of Overweight and Obesity were associated with BMI, gender and age group. The expected effect of parental BMI on childrens BMI is worth noting.
10 - 12 Sep 2016
European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology