TITLE

Rise in childhood obesity with persistently high rates of undernutrition among urban school-aged Indo-Asian children

AUTHOR(S)
Jafar, T. H.; Qadri, Z.; Islam, M.; Hatcher, J.; Bhutta, Z. A.; Chaturved, N.
PUB. DATE
May 2008
SOURCE
Archives of Disease in Childhood;May2008, Vol. 93 Issue 5, p373
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Childhood obesity is an emerging global public health challenge. Evidence for the transition in nutrition in Indo-Asian developing countries is lacking. We conducted these analyses to determine the trends in nutritional status of school-aged children in urban Pakistan. Methods: Data on the nutritional status of children aged 5 to 14 years from two independent population-based representative surveys, the urban component of the National Health Survey of Pakistan (NHSP; 1990-1994) and the Karachi survey (2004-2005), were analysed. Using normative data from children in the United States as the reference, trends for age- and gender-standardised prevalence (95% Cl) of underweight (more than 2 SD below the weight-for-age reference), stunted (more than 2 SD below the height-for-age reference) and overweight and obese (body mass index (BMI) 85th percentile or greater) children were compared for the two surveys. The association between physical activity and being over- weight or obese was analysed in the Karachi survey using logistical regression analysis. Results: 2074 children were included in the urban NHSP and 1675 in the Karachi survey. The prevalence of underweight children was 29.7% versus 27.3% (p = 0.12), stunting was 16.7% versus 14.3% (p = 0.05), and prevalence of overweight and obese children was 3.0 versus 5.7 (p<0.001) in the NHSP and Karachi surveys, respectively. Physical activity was inversely correlated with being overweight or obese (odds ratio, 95% Cl, 0.51, 0.32-0.80 for those who engaged in more than 30 minutes of physical activity versus those engaged in less than 30 minutes' activity). Conclusions: Our study highlights the challenge faced by Pakistani school-aged children. There has been a rapid rise in the number of overweight and obsese children despite a persistently high burden of undernutrition. Focus on prevention of obesity in children must include strategies for promoting physical activity.
ACCESSION #
32196563

 

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