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Scripta Scientifica Medica

Preschool children - obesity and risk behaviours. Trends from 2009 to 2013

Mina Lateva, Sonya Galcheva, Wouter de Witte, Violeta Iotova


In the beginning of 2011, according to WHO more than 40 million children under 5 years are overweight, and over 30 million of them live in developing countries. In Bulgaria Iotova et. al. (2009) reported an increased incidence of obesity in 9-year old girls from 4.3% to 10.4% over a period of 5 years (2002-2007).

Aim: To determine the incidence of overweight and general and abdominal obesity in preschool children, and also some risk behaviors and their trend over 2009.

Participants and methods: height, weight and WC were measured of a total of 117 children aged 4,53±0.29 years that were attending kindergartens in Varna. BMI (kg/m2) was calculated and compared with the IOTF references for the corresponding age and sex. The comparison was made with a group of 189 children from Varna, of the same age (mean age 4,58±0,31 years), measured by the same methods in 2009. Res ults : When comparing the two groups there was a significant reduction in WC (p=0.022). In 2009 OW/ obese were 12.7% of the children and significantly increased to 19.7% in 2013 (p=0.01). There is a decrease in the proportion of obese children (from 4.2% to 0.9%) and an increase in those who were overweight (from 8.5% to 18.8%).

Conclusion: Reducing the percentage of obese children in this young age most likely reflects a positive trend in the attitude towards obesity. Increasing percentage of overweight children who are potential pool of increasing obesity with age, requires serious attention in the prevention of obesity.


obesity; preschool children; risk behaviours

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About The Authors

Mina Lateva
Medical University of Varna

Dept. of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics

Sonya Galcheva
Medical University of Varna

Dept. of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics

Wouter de Witte
Ghent University

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Violeta Iotova
Medical University of Varna

Dept. of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics

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