Prevalence and Demographic Correlates of Overweight and Obesity Among Children in a Transitional Southeastern European Population

J. Hyska, E. Mersini, I. Mone, G. Burazeri

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Our aim was to assess the prevalence and demographic correlates of overweight and obesity among children in Albania, a transitional country in Southeastern Europe. A nationwide survey was conducted in Albania in 2013 including a representative sample of 5,810 schoolchildren aged 7.0-9.9 years (51.5 % boys aged 8.5 +/- A 0.6 years and 49.5 % girls aged 8.4 +/- A 0.6 years; overall response: 97 %). All children were measured height and weight, based on which the body mass index (BMI) was calculated. The criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) were used to describe the distribution of BMI among children. Overall, mean value of BMI was 16.4 +/- A 2.4 (16.7 +/- A 2.5 in boys vs. 16.2 +/- A 2.4 in girls, P < 0.001). As per WHO criteria, 9.8 % of the boys were obese versus 5.5 % of the girls (P < 0.001). The prevalence of both overweight and obesity were remarkably higher among urban children compared with their rural counterparts (17.9 vs. 10.5 and 11.9 vs. 4.0 %, respectively, P < 0.001). As per IOTF criteria, 3.8 % of the boys were obese compared with 2.8 % of the girls (P < 0.001). The prevalence of overweight and obesity were similarly higher among urban children than in rural children (15.6 vs. 7.3 and 5.5 vs. 1.4 %, respectively, P < 0.001). Our findings indicate that Albania is in the middle of nutritional transition with a high prevalence of overweight and obesity among children aged 7.0-9.9 years. This is particularly evident in urban areas of the country. Conversely, our data do not indicate a double burden of malnutrition among children in Albania.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-834
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Volume39
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Keywords

  • Albania
  • Body mass index
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Underweight
  • BODY-MASS INDEX
  • CHILDHOOD OBESITY
  • INTERNATIONAL SURVEY
  • PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN
  • COMPUTER USE
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • HEALTH
  • TRENDS
  • BREAKFAST
  • CONSUMPTION

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