Prevalence rates and comparisons of obesity levels in Ireland

Barron, Carol; Comiskey, Catherine; Saris, Jamie
July 2009
British Journal of Nursing;7/9/2009, Vol. 18 Issue 13, p799
Academic Journal
This article compares the prevalence of the overweight and obesity levels in Irish school children aged 4-13 years from data collected by one of the authors in 2007, with data collected from a previous Irish study in 2002 by Whelton et al (2007). Both data sets were analyzed using the International Obesity Taskforse (IOTF) international cut-off points for body mass index (BMI). From the data collected in 2007 the overall prevalence of the overweight was 17.8% and the rate of obesity was 6.8%. The prevalence of the overweight and obese was 24.6%. No correlation was found between gender and BMI, however a positive and significant correlation was observed between age and BMI, indicating that as age increased so too did BMI (R = 0.35, p < 0.001). Comparing results with data from 2002 (Whelton et al, 2007), no statistically significant changes in the proportions of overweight and obese children were observed within this age group in the 5-year period from 2002 to 2007. While the results of our data suggest that rates of being overweight or obese among Irish children in this age group may be stabilizing, larger and preferably longitudinal Irish studies are required if this assertion is to be fully validated in the Irish context.


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