Factors Affecting the Prevalence of Obesity Among Primary School Students in Turkey


BACKGROUND Obesity is an energy metabolism disorder which results in the excessive storage of fat and may also lead to physical and psychological problems. Since the 1980s, obesity has drastically increased across all age and socio-economic groups around the world. OBJECTIVES The purpose of the study was to investigate the risk factors affecting obesity in students in the age group of 6-15 years. PATIENTS AND METHODS This was a population-based cross-sectional study on 868 students in Bahçelievler elementary school in Zonguldak, Turkey from March to April in 2010. Data was collected using demographic questionary forms and weight-length measurements. RESULTS The median age was 10.3 ± 2.1; 47.6% of the children were female and 52.4% of them were male. About 70.2% of the students consumed fast food. It was identified that 67.1% of the students in the 6-10-year age group and 32.9% in 11-15-year age group were obese (P = 0.000). The obesity prevalence of children with one or two siblings was higher than the ones with more than two siblings (P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS The study concluded that there were certain criteria related to development of obesity during a specific period of childhood and taking certain precautions could be effective in preventing it.


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