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Title: Comparison of body mass index of a national cohort of Maltese children over a 3-year interval
Authors: Farrugia Sant Angelo, Victoria
Grech, Victor E.
Keywords: Obesity in children -- Malta
Overweight children -- Malta
Body mass index
Obesity -- Epidemics
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Malta Medical Journal
Citation: Malta Medical Journal. 2011, Vol.23(1), p. 34-39
Abstract: Aims: To compare body mass index (BMI) at 7 years and at 9 years of age in a national cohort of children in Malta, born in 2001, and to compare the results with an earlier study carried out in 2007 in this same cohort. Methods: BMI measurement of all children in the second year of formal school and again in the fourth year. Results: In 2008, data was collected from a total of 3435 children (girls 48.9%, boys 51.1%) with a mean age of 6.8 years. The same procedure was carried out in 2010 on the same cohort of children. A total of 3090 children participated in the second round of data collection (girls 49.5%, boys 50.5%). Based on WHO criteria (using the 2007 WHO Child Growth Reference BMI-for-age 5-19 charts), over a quarter of Maltese children aged 7 years were found to be overweight or obese in 2008. This proportion rose to just over 40% when the same cohort was measured in 2010 at the age of 9 years. A significant prevalence of overweight and obese boys was found in Gozo for both studies. Children attending Independent (fee-paying) schools were the least overweight and obese. Discussion: Obesity in childhood in Malta is increasing despite efforts to curb this disease. More emphasis must be made on prevention strategy in childhood as this is a key factor in reducing the burden of morbidity and mortality of childhood disease.
Appears in Collections:MMJ, Volume 23, Issue 1
MMJ, Volume 23, Issue 1
Scholarly Works - FacM&SPae

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