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Abstract

ASSESSMENT OF RISK FACTORS FOR OBESITY IN SELECTED SCHOOL CHILDREN AGED 4-9 YEARS OLD

Aynul Islam Khan*, C. A. Kawser, Bijoy Chakraborty and S. M. Shatil Shahriar

ABSTRACT

Background and aims: Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in developing countries along with childhood undernutrition. Childhood obesity increases the risk of dyslipidemia, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases in later years of life. This study was conducted to explore the prevalence of childhood obesity and to identify its risk factors in a selected financially well-to-do Bangladeshi population. Methodology: A survey was conducted amongst school children aged between 4-9 years in Dhaka city to estimate the prevalence of obesity in that age population. Children with BMI for age and sex ≥ 95th percentile of CDC growth chart were designated as obese. Amongst the obese children, 96 were randomly selected and matched with the same number of normal weight children of the same age and sex, who were taken as control. Data regarding dietary habits, physical activities and life style risk factors were collected from the participants using a structured questionnaire (covering parent’s income, expenditures on food, dietary habits, TV watching and video gaming duration, family structure and size, position of index case, and parental education or occupation) to identify the risk factors for development of obesity. Results: Prevalence of obesity was 13% amongst studied population (460 out of 3527 children screened). Children’s parental income, expenditures on food, dietary habits, prolonged TV watching and video gaming were significant predictors of obesity. No association of obesity with family structure and size, position of index case, and parental education or occupation was found. Conclusions: Childhood obesity is an emerging health problem amongst the school children in Dhaka city. Children’s family income, expenses on food, dietary habits and physical inactivity were identified as risk factors. Preventive strategies are to be developed after further confirmation of the findings in larger studies.

Keywords: Childhood obesity, risk factors - dietary habits, physical activities and life style risk factors.


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