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RMJ. 2019; 44(2): 381-384

Frequency and factors associated with childhood obesity in lower socioeconomic families

Sabeen Abid Khan, Sahira Aaraj, Kaleem Ur Rahman.

Objective: To determine the frequency and factors associated with childhood obesity in lower socioeconomic families in a community health center.
Methodology: This cross- sectional study was carried out at Shifa Falahee Community Health Center (SFCHC), Paediatric clinic from November 1, 2016 to April 30, 2017. All patients were checked for height, weight and BMI and plotted on their respective WHO BMI centile charts for age and gender. A total of 3500 children, aged between 2-16 years were screened during the study period. Obesity due to endocrine problems, chronic diseases and those on drugs causing weight gain were excluded. Out of these, 83 (2.3%) had BMI more than 85th centile and/or more than 95th centile for age were assigned into overweight or obese group, respectively. They were compared with similar number of case matched children with normal BMI (5th to 84.9th centile) to see the association with risk factors for obesity.
Result: The study showed 83(2.3%) overweight and obese children. Out of which, 37 were overweight (44.6%), 19 were obese (22.9%) and morbid obesity was seen in 27 (32.5%). Positive association was found between less physical activity, increased screen time, intake of fruits and vegetables, not taking home made lunch to school, and less maternal education.
Conclusion: Increasing number of overweight and obese children are observed in lower socioeconomic families. We need to identify and create awareness about this growing health issue.

Key words: Childhood obesity, BMI, lower- socioeconomic, morbid obesity.

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