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Archives of Medical Science
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vol. 14
Clinical research

Is there a rapid increase in prevalence of obesity in Polish children? An 18-year prospective observational study in Gdansk, Poland

Michał Brzeziński, Marek Jankowski, Agnieszka Jankowska, Aleksandra Niedzielska, Barbara Kamińska

Arch Med Sci 2018; 14, 1: 22–29
Online publish date: 2017/12/19
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Introduction: The prevalence of overweight and obesity is not regularly screened among Polish children. Very few longitudinal data exist on the prevalence and increase of overweight and obesity in this population. The aim of the study was to analyze the prevalence of overweight and obesity among selected age categories of children from Gdansk, on the basis of 1992–2012 data.

Material and methods: The anthropometric data (body weight and height, body mass index) of 70,329 children aged between 6 and 13 years were analyzed. Data were collected during annually performed child health measurements in schools by medical staff of Gdansk Center for Health Promotion during 1992–2012.

Results: No constant trend to increase or decrease in the prevalence of overweight or obesity was documented in any of the studied age groups (p > 0.05). An age-related increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity was observed throughout all consecutive age categories in boys and in prepubertal girls (p < 0.05). Overweight and obesity were significantly more frequent in girls than in boys from all age categories (p < 0.05), except 12- and 13-year-old children (p = 0.173; p = 0.973), in whom no gender-specific differences were documented.

Conclusions: Our study did not confirm the previously reported growing tendency in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children. However, our findings point to an age-related increase in the prevalence of excess body weight in the pediatric population.

excess body weight, percentile charts, secular trends

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