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Clin Ter. 2012;163(3):e107-10.

[Obesity and arterial hypertension in children: current calamity].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1Direttivo Gruppo Studio Ipertensione, Società Italiana di Pediatria, GSIPER, Roma, Italia.



A study was carried out on students of a middle school with a medium-high social level in a southern zone of Rome, to assess the current situation regarding obesity and arterial hypertension in subjects with a parental environment favouring correct eating habits.


We considered 693 students, mean age 11.2 + 0.6. Hypertension was defined according to blood pressure (BP) tables for children and adolescents of the NIH - Fourth Report (systolic and diastolic BP >95th percentile for age and sex). Overweight and obesity were determined according to the International Obesity Task Force. Dietary habits and life-style were investigated by specific questionnaires.


The prevalence of overweight and obesity was respectively 23.1% and 3.3% of the subjects studied. Moreover, 5.2% of them showed BP values between 90th and 95th percentile and 7.8% was hypertensive. Food habits of the current students were fairly correct, favouring the Mediterranean diet and with the proper number of daily meals.


A justification for the high number of hypertensive could be due to the elevated consumption of salt added to food (60% of young people), the elevated frequency of those who often eat fast food (43%) and a family history of hypertension in the parents (24%). Only 24.5% of males and 22.9% of females used to practice physical activity; whereas 40% of males and 41% of females used to spend more than 3 hours a day in front of the TV and/or computer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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