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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2013 July-August;172(7-8):619-26


language: Italian

Obesity in adolescence age: anthropometric-alimentary investigation conducted in Palermo and Caltanissetta

La Mendola F. M. C.

Dottore in Medicina e Chirurgia, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italia


Aim: Objectives of the study were: to analyze the phenomenon of obesity in the sample schools in Palermo and Caltanissetta, to check the correlation with genetic factors, dietary habits and reduced physical activity, to value whether the phenomenon is in line with the national data, to suggest possible educational strategies to sensitize young people about the problem.
Methods: The research began in Palermo with a baseline screening of students attending middle schools in three different districts of the city, with the aim of identifying adolescents at high risk for diabetes. A similar survey was conducted in Caltanissetta, in three middle schools in different districts of the city. The first survey consisted in a questionnaire administered to students with questions on physiological and familiar anamnesis, eating and sports habits. Weight and height of the students were measured and body mass index calculated. Based on BMI, subjects were classified into three groups: normal weight, overweight and obese. In the second phase, we proposed to all students a metabolic screening, to detect systolic and diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, the fasting plasma glucose and to measure waist circumference. The data collected in Caltanissetta were added to those of Palermo.
Results: The results are illustrated by 28 graphs. The first 4 relate to the average age, division by sex and anthropometric and clinical characteristics of teenagers surveyed. The other 24 relate to genetics, dietary habits and physical activity. Results were compared with the so-called “food pyramid”, and it is observed that obese and overweight have a behavior opposite to that model. We have finally noticed a correspondence between the results of the trend conducted in Palermo and Caltanissetta with the national trend.
Conclusion: Possible future investigation should concern enlargement of the sample to other schools, further integration with clinical-diagnostic phase as a preventive measure, incentive to implement an educational strategy for adolescents on the adoption of correct styles of life.

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