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Minerva Pediatrica 2016 Dec 22


lingua: Inglese

Overweight/obesity and lifestyle factors among Italian adolescents: the ALIADO study

Myriam GALFO, Laura CENSI, Laura D’ADDEZIO, Francesca MELINI, Deborah MARTONE

Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Center for Food and Nutrition, Rome, Italy


BACKGROUND: Childhood obesity is associated with many lifestyle factors. The present study aims to evaluate the relationship between overweight/obesity and abdominal obesity and several lifestyle factors in a sample of Italian adolescents.
METHODS: A representative cluster sample of 15-16-year-old adolescents in secondary school in the Lazio region (Italy) was recruited. Body weight, height and waist circumference were measured. Ponderal status was assessed by the IOTF and WHO definitions. Waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) cut-off of 0.5 was used to classify subjects with the highest cardiometabolic risk. Selected dietary habits and lifestyle characteristics were assessed by questionnaires.
RESULTS: 369 adolescents (162 males and 207 females) were studied. Prevalence of overweight/obesity was 23.3%, according to the IOTF criteria with a higher percentage of males than females (30.2% vs 17.9%; p=0.031), and 26% according to WHO references with significant differences between males and females (respectively, 33.9% vs 19.8%; p=0.002). The WtHR≥0.5 was observed in 12.7% of the total sample with a higher percentage in males than in females (16% vs 10.1%). Males reported an increased likelihood of being overweight or obese, as well as of having a WtHR≥0.5 (aOR 2.76 and 2.18, respectively). Adolescents that had breakfast regularly everyday were less likely to be overweight/obese and to have a WtHR≥0.5 (aOR 0.52 and 0.49, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: These results showed a high prevalence of overweight/obesity in the sample, and food habits and lifestyle not in accordance with recommendations, especially regarding breakfast. A Surveillance System of Italian adolescents should also be implemented through anthropometric measurement data to monitor the effectiveness of the policies to counteract obesity.

KEY WORDS: Adolescents - Lifestyle factors - Dietary habits - Obesity - Overweight

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