Prevalence of thinness, overweight and obesity among 4-to-6-year-old Spanish schoolchildren in 2013; Situation in the European context [Prevalencia de delgadez, sobrepeso y obesidad en escolares españoles de 4-6 años en 2013; situación en el contexto Europeo]
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de la Cruz L.L.
Introduction and objectives: both, weight excess and thinness, are related with several health disorders that could continue into adulthood. The objectives of this study were to estimate the prevalence of thinness, overweight and obesity in 4-to-6-year-old schoolchildren in the provinces of Cuenca and Ciudad Real (Spain), using both the International Obesity Task Force and the World Health Organization criteria; and to compare this prevalence with those provided for other European studies. Methods: a cross-sectional study was performed in 1 585 schoolchildren in September 2013. Weight and height measurements were performed by previously trained nurses with standardized procedures. Weight status was defined according to the International Obesity Task Force and the World Health Organization criteria. Results: when the International Obesity Task Force criteria were used prevalence of thinness, overweight and obesity was 20.51%, 11.84% and 8.58%, respectively; and 3.97%, 13.92% and 10.79% when the World Health Organization criteria were utilized. No statistically significant differences by sex or province in any category of weight status were found. The prevalence of thinness decreased as age increases. Conversely, thinness prevalence decreased and overweight/obesity prevalence was significantly higher in older schoolchildren. The prevalence of overweight in this study is similar to other Mediterranean countries. Conclusions: the prevalence of overweight seems to level off, although it remains a public health priority. The increase in the prevalence of thinness has become an emergent problem that could claim for public health interventions. © 2015, Grupo Aula Medica S.A. All Rights Reserved.
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