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Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2013 Jan-Mar;117(1):36-45.

Overweight and obesity in school age children in western Romania.

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Pediatrics Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Victor Babes Timisoara, Romania.
Genetics Department, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Victor Babes Timisoara, Romania.


Obesity prevalence in both adults and children has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Romania seems to follow the same trend, but studies proving this fact are scarce. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity and to find correlations to certain health-risk behaviors in children from western Romania.


In this cross-sectional study, a total of 3626 children aged 7-18 years were examined by medical students (February 2010- June 2011). Children were classified by their body mass index using International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) reference. The children were asked to complete a short questionnaire inquiring about 5 health-risk behaviors: consumption of fast-food, sweetened beverages, sweets and fruits and about physical exercise.


The overall prevalence of overweight was 18.2% (16.2% in girls and 20.7% in boys) and 7.2% for obesity (5.8% in girls and 9.0% in boys). The prevalence of both overweight and obesity was higher in boys versus girls and rural versus urban. Overweight and obesity was correlated with the consumption of sweetened beverages and sweets and also with sedentary behavior.


The prevalence of overweight and obesity children is alarming, particularly in boys, higher in rural versus urban. The findings confirm the urgent need for national preventive strategy for childhood obesity and targeted interventions tailored to local circumstances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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