OBJECTIVES: To evaluate overweight and obesity in a sample of children of school age in the city of Rome (Italy). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample of 18.299 school children (9.531 males and 8.768 females) aged between 3 and 15 years was studied. Height and weight have been measured in order to calculate the BMI. The percentile distribution of BMI has been determined and then subdivided according to the categories proposed by Cole. The analysis has been done using the program "Statistica" produced by StatSoft, Italia. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight exceeded 20% in all age groups with the exception of the two extremes 3 years old and 15 years old in which the prevalence was 11.8% and 15.4% respectively. Children between 5 and 10 years old have the highest rates of obesity. The prevalence of obesity was highest in females between 4 and 8 years, while for the males it was 8 to 15 years. However the difference in the prevalence between males and females was statistically significantly different only in ages 9 and 10. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of overweight rises to a peak at age 9, reaching 30%, but declines at older ages. The prevalence of obesity peaks at an earlier age reaching between 12% and 15% at ages 5-8 years. The prevalence of obesity declines as the children get older.
Obesity in school-aged children: Interpretation of the Body Mass Index in a sample of children and adolescents in Rome / Ergasti, G; Fovi, G; Visalli, N; DE LUCA, Eugenia. - In: LA CLINICA TERAPEUTICA. - ISSN 0009-9074. - ELETTRONICO. - 161:(2010), pp. e137-e141.