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West Indian Med J. 2011 Jul;60(4):442-5.

Childhood obesity in the Caribbean.

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Department of Public and Occupational Health and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To determine the prevalence of overweight among school children in Bonaire, an island in the Caribbean, and to obtain clues for prevention of overweight.


In a cross-sectional school-based study, weight and height were measured in all 4-16-year old children in Bonaire (n = 2148). Body mass index was categorized as defined by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). The children were administered a questionnaire pertaining to lifestyle and nutrition.


The prevalence of overweight, including obesity, in boys is 24.3%, and 31.9% in girls; obesity is 9.9% and 13.7%, respectively. Approximately half of the children have an unhealthy food pattern. Significantly less overweight (49%) and obese children (45%) are physically active for > 1 hour/day compared to normal weight children (56%).


The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children in Bonaire is high. Prevention of overweight should focus on stimulating healthy eating habits and more physical activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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