In the opinion of the World Health Organization the obesity will become one of four major epidemics of the 21st century. The most important factor for its occurrence is the lifestyle.
The aim of the research was to analyse the body mass index (BMI) of pre-school children and their parents and the components of their lifestyle, such as diet, sports and free time activities.
Material and Methods: The two-stage study included 537 children (265 boys and 272 girls) aged 3 and 6 (5.63±1.1). The anthropometric measurements of the children were made and the BMI was counted and referred to the percentiles. The parents were questioned about their height and weight and life style.
Results: 82 (15%) children fulfilled the criteria of obesity. The fathers overweight was stated in 54.6%, whereas obesity in 10.7%; mothers overweight in 14.4%, obesity in 1.34%.
Children eat their first meal around 8.00 a.m., the last at 7.00 p.m.
The average number of main meals is 3.9±0.9. Up to 87% of parents state that their child eats extra food (fruit, yoghurts, sandwiches) between the main meals. A major part in the diet plays the sweets. Up to 48% of children consume sweets everyday, 8.2% of them a few times daily and only 1% once a week.
Only 33% of children regularly do sports. A child spends up to a 100 minutes daily in front of a TV or a computer.
Conclusions: 1. The occurrence of obesity in over 15% of pre-school children should keep parents and pediatrists alert because of the possible health consequences.
2. The incorrect nourishment and improper lifestyle may result in obesity becoming an epidemic.
3. It is vital to popularize a healthy lifestyle not only among children but also their parents.
28 Apr - 02 May 2007
European Society of Endocrinology