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Nutr Health. 1998;12(4):235-46.

Obesity among Kuwaiti pre-school children aged 0-5 years: prevalence and comparison with the NCHS/CDC reference population.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine & Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kuwait, Safat.


The purpose of the study was to assess the level of obesity among Kuwaiti pre-school children aged 0-5 years, and compare their nutritional status with the NCHS/CDC reference population. A Cross-sectional multi-stage stratified random sample of 7419 Kuwaiti children (3749 boys and 3670 girls), representing over 5% of the population at studied age was used for the study. Children below 42 months were randomly selected from five maternal and child health clinics, one from each of the five local authority areas of Kuwait. Children 42 months and above were selected from 24 kindergartens, proportionally from the 5 local authority areas. Weights and heights of children were measured. Obesity was defined as weight-for-height (W/H) 2.00 to 5.00 standard deviation (SD) scores of the NCHS/CDC reference population. Underweight and short stature were defined as W/H and height-for-age (H/A) -4.00 to -2.00 SD scores, respectively. Obesity among Kuwaiti pre-school children was found to be 8.2% (7.5% in males and 9.0% in females). Underweight was found to be almost similarly distributed among both genders (4.2% in males and 4.1% in females). Short stature was found to be 5.8% (6.1% in males and 5.6% in females). Kuwaiti pre-school children aged 0-5 years were, for the most part, found to be slightly heavier and shorter than American children of the reference population. The children were also found to be heavier and taller than a decade ago. The nutritional status of the children improved during the last ten years.

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