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Can J Diet Pract Res. 2006 Autumn;67(3):143-7.

Prevalence of childhood obesity in northeastern Ontario: a cross-sectional study.

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  • 1Porcupine Health Unit, Timmins, Ontario.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In Canada, the incidence of childhood obesity has tripled within the past 20 years. The prevalence of obesity in the Timmins, Ontario, student population was studied to gain knowledge for program planning and resource allocation, and to compare Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria with Cole's international criteria for childhood obesity.

METHODS:

Anthropometric measurements of 801 students were taken. Students were chosen from randomly selected schools for each grade. Data were analyzed according to age, gender, and ethnicity. Data were also compared with other studies. Intragroup comparisons were performed using hypothesis testing for significance with the z table and chi-square test.

RESULTS:

Overweight and obesity prevalence was 28% according to CDC criteria. No statistical difference was found between genders or among ethnic groups, or between this study and other Canadian studies. In comparison with the CDC criteria, Cole's international criteria indicated less obesity and increased overweight prevalence. These differences were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings suggest that in the northern Ontario community of Timmins, the prevalence of childhood obesity is of epidemic proportions. When the findings are shared with different agencies, this study will help the health unit to take necessary public health measures to curb the epidemic.

PMID:
16968562
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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