Prevalence of overweight and obesity among Belgrade youth: A study in a representative sample of 9–14-year-old children and adolescents

  • Snežana Radisavljević Janić University of Belgrade, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
  • Ivana Milanović University of Belgrade, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
  • Milena Živković University of Belgrade, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
  • Dragan Mirkov University of Belgrade, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education
Keywords: childhood obesity, body mass index, elementary school, sex, gender

Abstract

This study was designed to assess the prevalence of overweight and obesity of urban schoolchildren in Serbia, based on the data collected from the representative sample from schools located in Belgrade, the national capital, as a part of a wider national project. The sample consisted of 11,644 schoolchildren (14% of Belgrade’s elementary school population from 9–15 years of age). The body-mass index cut-off points of the International Obesity Task Force were used to identify the prevalence of overweight and obesity. The present study has indicated that the overall prevalence observed in the whole sample was 24.2%, of which 19.2% were overweight, and 5% were obese students. Moreover, a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity has been revealed in boys rather than in girls, in all age groups. These high prevalence trends should be accepted as a warning sign and strategies that promote healthy weight among children and adolescents should be adequately developed and applied.

Published
2013-12-20
Section
SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES