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Minerva Pediatrica 2000 January-February;52(1-2):21-8

Copyright © 1999 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Monitoring the trend of overweight children in Cremona (1990-1998)

Boldori L., Marelli A.


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Aim. To evaluate the trend of infantile obesity in the school-aged population of Cremona over time.
Methods. The weight and height of all children aged 6, 9 and 11 attending schools within the health district of Cremona were measured for 9 consecutive years (January 1990 - March 1998), giving a total of 17,730 measurements. Pupils whose bodyweight was 20% above the mean weight for stature and sex given by NCHS canthimetric classes were defined as obese. In addition, three degrees of obesity were defined: slight obesity (20-29% excess bodyweight), moderate obesity (30-50%) and severe obesity (over 50%).
Results. This study showed the trend of the increasing prevalence of infantile obesity in the zone in question: it rose from an overall level of 6.1% to 13.6% in 1998. The increase regarded all age groups; levels were three times higher in older children, but obesity had more than doubled in 6-year-olds. With regard to the three classes of obesity, there was a particularly striking increase in moderate obesity, whereas the cases of severe obesity remained constant.
Conclusions. These data underline the need for more incisive educational and preventive work in the field of infantile obesity to be carried out as soon as possible.

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