The prevalence of overweight and obese children aged 6-17 years in the West Black Sea region of Turkey


Simsek E., Akpinar S., Bahcebasi T., Senses D. A. , Kocabay K.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.62, no.7, pp.1033-1038, 2008 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 62 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2007.01421.x
  • Journal Name: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1033-1038

Abstract

Objective: To assess the prevalence of overweight and obese Turkish children. Design: Cross-sectional study in school children. Subjects: A total of 6924 children (3281 boys and 3643 girls) aged 6-17 years from the West Black Sea region of Turkey. Measurements: Overweight and obese were defined using international age- and sex-specific cutoff points for body mass index. The data were analysed by age, sex, residence and socioeconomic level. Results: The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity was 10.3% and 6.1% respectively. The overall prevalence of obesity in boys and girls was 7.0% and 5.4%, respectively, and the difference was significant (chi(2) = 8, p = 0.004). The prevalence of obesity in urban and rural areas was 7.7% and 3.9%, respectively, and the difference was significant (chi(2) = 40, p < 0.001). The prevalence of overweight boys and girls in urban areas was 11.6% and 13.2%, respectively, but the difference was not significant (chi(2) = 2, p > 0.05). However, the prevalence of overweight boys and girls in rural areas was 4.8% and 9.4%, respectively, and the difference was significant (chi(2) = 25, p < 0.001). Although the prevalence of obesity differed significantly between boys and girls in urban children (chi(2) = 13, p < 0.001), no significant difference was detected in the prevalence between boys and girls from rural areas (chi(2) = 0.4, p > 0.5). The prevalence of obesity was significantly higher in private schools than in public schools (chi(2) = 48, p < 0.0001). The prevalence of overweight and obese Turkish children aged 6-17 years is considerably lower than in most European countries. The children in urban settings and higher socioeconomic groups had a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity. The Westernisation of the behaviour patterns of children and living in an urban setting in a developing country are risk factors for obesity.