Overweight and obesity prevalence in urban Sardinian children
Sanna, Emanuele;Soro, Maria Renata;Calò, Carla
The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children (6-10 years) of the city of Cagliari (Sardinia,Italy) with different socioeconomic status. The sample is composed by 1000 children, 500 males and 500 females, 6 to 10 years old, attending primary schools in Cagliari during 2003. For uniformity with similar Italian studies, in this study overweight and obesity were defined as calculated from the charts published by Tanner et al.(1966). In the Cagliari children, the prevalence of obesity is 22.70%. The percentages of overweight and obese children increase with age: respectively from 11.5% and 14.0% at 6 years to 15.4% and 22.7% at 10 years. There are higher numbers of overweight and obese boys than girls in all the age classes. Both males and females show an increasing percentage of overweight and obesity as the socioeconomic level decreases. Males present higher percentages of overweight and obesity than females of the same social level, i.e.in the lowest social category overweight is 18.68% in males and 13.60% in females and obesity 26.46% in males and 23.62% in females. The standard multivariate regression analysis with the indicator of overweight and obesity as dependent variable showed that the sex (male), socio-economic status, maternal schooling and sums of the limb and trunk skinfolds have the greatest influence on overweight and obesity. The results suggest that overweight and obesity are becoming serious social and health problems in Sardinia.