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Public Health Nutr. 2009 May;12(5):702-9. doi: 10.1017/S1368980008003017. Epub 2008 Jul 29.

Trends in overweight and obesity in pre-school children in urban areas of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from 2002 to 2005.

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  • 1Nutrition Centre of Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.



To assess the trends in overweight and obesity in pre-school children in urban areas of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam, over the period 2002 to 2005.


Two cross-sectional studies were conducted in 2002 and 2005. Multistage cluster sampling was used in both surveys to select the subjects. Sociodemographic information was collected using a self-administered questionnaire given to parents in 2002 and using an interview-administered questionnaire to parents in 2005. Weight and height were measured using the same standard methods in both surveys. BMI (kg/m2) was calculated and overweight/obesity was defined using the age- and sex-specific BMI cut-off points proposed by the International Obesity Taskforce.


Children aged 4 to 5 years, attending pre-schools in urban areas of HCMC, Vietnam, in 2002 (n 492) and 2005 (n 670).


The prevalence of overweight and obesity almost doubled from 2002 to 2005 (21.4 % and 36.8 %, respectively). The increase was more evident in less wealthy districts than in wealthy districts. The proportion of boys classified as obese in 2005 (22.5 %) was three times that in 2002 (6.9 %).


The prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased rapidly in children aged 4 to 5 years in urban areas, and especially in less wealthy districts, over a 3-year period. These results signal an urgent need for prevention programmes to control and reverse this rapid upward trend in overweight and obesity in young children in HCMC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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