eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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vol. 5
Special paper

How to encourage children to live healthy lives? A prophylactic and health-oriented campaign called “Let’s Get the Kids Moving” aimed at children in Wrocław schools

Katarzyna Pazdro-Zastawny
Mateusz Kolator
Alicja Basiak-Rasała
Joanna Krajewska
Sara Górna
Michał Zatoński
Tomasz Zatoński
1, 4

Clinic of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
Chair and Department of Social Medicine, Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland
“Run for Health” Foundation (Fundacja “Biegaj dla Zdrowia”), Wrocław
J Health Inequal 2019; 5 (2): 188-191
Online publish date: 2019/12/30
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The prevalence of overweight and obesity in developed countries, including Poland, is constantly increasing. Worldwide, obesity occurs in 13-23% of adults. It is estimated that 20% of children and adolescents are overweight [1]. In a nationwide survey conducted in Poland in 1994-1995, and covering a population of elementary and high school pupils, excessive body weight was present in 8.7% and obesity in 3.4% of children and adolescents aged 7-17 years [2]. Research conducted by Małecka-Tendera in 2001 among a group of Polish children aged 7-9 showed that excess body weight occurred in 15.8% of girls and 15.0% of boys, while 3.7% of girls and 3.6% of boys were affected by obesity. This indicates a significant increase in overweight and obesity in the examined age group in comparison to the results of research from the early 1990s, conducted by the Institute of Mother and Child [3].
Children with excessive body mass are at increased risk of becoming obese as adults, and presumably will develop comorbidities [1]. It has been established that overweight and obesity in childhood is the most common risk factor for the development and premature onset of cardiovascular diseases, and that they are strongly connected with a higher risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, stroke, sleep apnea, gallbladder disease, hyperuricemia and gout, and osteoarthritis. Obesity is also associated with higher prevalence of certain cancers, including colorectal and prostate cancer in men and endometrial, breast, and gallbladder cancer in women [4, 5]. Excessive body mass is also associated with substantial increase in mortality from all causes, in particular, cardiovascular diseases [6]. Kelsey et al. stated that the health effects related to excessive body mass in childhood may have long-term sequelae in adulthood – despite normalization of body mass – and, consequently, may increase the likelihood of premature morbidity and mortality [7].
Increased access to processed foods, elevated diet-energy density, and limited physical activity in children are main factors contributing to excessive weight gain. Those trends suggest the need to introduce prevention programs targeting pre-school children and their families. The main aim is to prevent overweight and obesity in children, and to improve their health via:
• promotion of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity,
• introduction of healthy...

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