Childhood and parental obesity in the poorest district of Greece

Hippokratia 2009, 13(1):46-48

P. Malindretos, E. Doumpali, M. Mouselimi, N. Papamichail, CH. Doumpali, O. Sianaba, G. Orfanaki, A. Sioulis


Background and aim: Childhood obesity represents a rising threat in southern Europe. It is widely accepted that childhood obesity is an important risk factor for the appearance of obesity in adulthood. Our aim was to estimate the prevalence of obesity in school aged children living in one of the poorest districts of Europe, as well as to estimate the association between the frequency of obesity observed in these children and their parents. Material and methods: We examined and calculated the body mass index (BMI) in 107 children aged 12.2 ±0.78 years. BMI was adjusted for age and sex and it was correlated with children parents’ weight status. Results: Obesity was diagnosed in 16% of the children. The relationship between children’s and their parents weight status was very strong. In 40% of the obese parents, their children were found to be obese also (p < 0.001). Conclusion: In the present study a strong relationship between children weight status and their parents’ weight status was confirmed. Additionally, this correlation was proven at a district with very low house income. Knowing that it is easier to prevent obesity, rather than to cure it, our aim should be, when a child is brought to the doctor,independently of the cause, to assess both the child as well as its parents’ weight status.