|Pattern of Nutritional Obesity Among 4-6-Year-Old Children in Sulaymaniyah City, Iraq|
|Adnan Mohammad Hasan Al-Hamwandi1, Hayder Fakhir Mohammad1, Shaho Abdulah Ahmed2|
|1Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Sulaimani, Iraq
2Department of Pediatrics, Halabcha General Hospital, Halabcha, Iraq
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Keywords : Nutritional obesity, Preschool age children, Sulaymaniyah
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Objectives: Considering the rising prevalence of obesity in children and its many adverse health effects in childhood period, this study was conducted to understand the pattern of nutritional obesity in kindergarten children (4-6 years old) and investigate the effect of family history, healthy diet, physical activities, and other environmental factors on overweight and obesity.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study which was conducted from November 19, 2015, to August 29, 2016, 476 children from 5 different kindergartens in Sulaymaniyah city, Iraq, were included. Height and weight were measured in kindergartens and plotted on CDC chart for both age and gender, and those with a BMI of > 85th percentile (77 children) were sent to Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Sulaymaniyah for investigation. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 21.0.
Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was reported to be 8% and 8.2%, respectively, while the total prevalence of overweight and obesity was 16.2% in kindergarten children, indicating no statistically significant difference between genders. The incidence of obesity in children whose both parents are overweight or obese is high. Spending more time (hours) watching TV or playing video games, consuming fast food, and decreasing outdoor activities increase the probability of developing overweight and obesity. Most of the children included in the study had normal or borderline results except for 2 obese children who had borderline HbA1C which predisposes them to diabetes mellitus.
Conclusions: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is high in preschool age children mostly due to wrong idea that an obese child has good health. It is recommended that the time of watching TV and playing video games and the intake of high caloric diet should be decreased and sports and physical activities be encouraged.
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