Abstract.Childhood and adolescent obesity preva-lence rates have steadily increased in industrialised countries in the last 20 years. Current rates of obesity range between 6 and 30%. Several studies showed that risk factors for weight gain in school age are strongly linked to low physical activity and family environmental factors (parents' education and job, number of family members, number of hours spent on watching television, etc.). In order to plan a nutri-tional and health educational programme, a study was conducted on the nutritional status of the school age population of the Province of Frosinone, Central Italy, and family factors that can in¯uence it. Three percentage of the school age population of the Province of Frosinone (2053 students) and their families were randomly sampled from the Province school district database. In each of the 12 recruited schools, a meeting with teachers and students was arranged to discuss aims and methods of research and to collect informed consent by students. Each student was interviewed about physical activity, and under-went the following measurements: height, weight, bicipital, tricipital, sub-scapular and over-iliacal skinfolds, sexual development. Students' parents were asked to answer a questionnaire about family struc-ture, parents' educational level and job, parents' height and weight, presence in the family of pathol-ogies as hypertension or diabetes. One thousand three hundred ®fty-seven students (66% of the target pop-ulation) and 1802 parents (66.5% of the responders' population) agreed to enter the study. Students' age range was 8 years (11±19 years; mean age was 14.9, SD, 2.55). Among them 8.4% were considered obese, with a higher prevalence inmale population (9.8%) as compared to female population (6.5%). Of these re-sponders, 21.4 % were considered at risk of over-weight with no statistical di€erence due to gender. Statistically signi®cant correlations of teenagers' risk of overweight and obesity with nutritional conditions of parents, mother's educational level and amount of weekly physical activity were observed. Number of children in the family, parents' age and job do not appear to be correlated to obesity or risk of over-weight. Our results show that, although the preva-lence of obesity in the students population in the Province of Frosinone is comparable to other Italian Provinces and lower than other industrialised coun-tries such as USA, the percentage of students at risk of overweight is particularly high. Main risk factors for developing obesity seem to be linked to parents' nutritional conditions, mother's educational level and children's physical inactivity and this should lead to intensify e€orts for preventive interventions both at family level (focused on parents) and at school.

Overweight and obesity among secondary school children in Central Italy

DE VITO, Elisabetta;LANGIANO, Elisa;
1999

Abstract

Abstract.Childhood and adolescent obesity preva-lence rates have steadily increased in industrialised countries in the last 20 years. Current rates of obesity range between 6 and 30%. Several studies showed that risk factors for weight gain in school age are strongly linked to low physical activity and family environmental factors (parents' education and job, number of family members, number of hours spent on watching television, etc.). In order to plan a nutri-tional and health educational programme, a study was conducted on the nutritional status of the school age population of the Province of Frosinone, Central Italy, and family factors that can in¯uence it. Three percentage of the school age population of the Province of Frosinone (2053 students) and their families were randomly sampled from the Province school district database. In each of the 12 recruited schools, a meeting with teachers and students was arranged to discuss aims and methods of research and to collect informed consent by students. Each student was interviewed about physical activity, and under-went the following measurements: height, weight, bicipital, tricipital, sub-scapular and over-iliacal skinfolds, sexual development. Students' parents were asked to answer a questionnaire about family struc-ture, parents' educational level and job, parents' height and weight, presence in the family of pathol-ogies as hypertension or diabetes. One thousand three hundred ®fty-seven students (66% of the target pop-ulation) and 1802 parents (66.5% of the responders' population) agreed to enter the study. Students' age range was 8 years (11±19 years; mean age was 14.9, SD, 2.55). Among them 8.4% were considered obese, with a higher prevalence inmale population (9.8%) as compared to female population (6.5%). Of these re-sponders, 21.4 % were considered at risk of over-weight with no statistical di€erence due to gender. Statistically signi®cant correlations of teenagers' risk of overweight and obesity with nutritional conditions of parents, mother's educational level and amount of weekly physical activity were observed. Number of children in the family, parents' age and job do not appear to be correlated to obesity or risk of over-weight. Our results show that, although the preva-lence of obesity in the students population in the Province of Frosinone is comparable to other Italian Provinces and lower than other industrialised coun-tries such as USA, the percentage of students at risk of overweight is particularly high. Main risk factors for developing obesity seem to be linked to parents' nutritional conditions, mother's educational level and children's physical inactivity and this should lead to intensify e€orts for preventive interventions both at family level (focused on parents) and at school.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/12806
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