Analysis of body composition of 9- and 10-year-old children in Latvia

University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia.
Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania) (Impact Factor: 0.49). 01/2011; 47(10):573-8.
Source: PubMed


According to the data of epidemiologic research, the prevalence of both excessive and insufficient body weight is increasing in a pediatric population leading to the growing burden of health problems due to these changes. The aim of the study was to understand the current situation of physical development of 9- and 10-year-old boys and girls in Latvia and to estimate the prevalence of underweight, normal weight, overweight, and obesity among young adolescents.
During 2007-2009, a random sample of healthy 9-year-old (n=184) and 10-year-old (n=320) children from all regions and different socioeconomic groups of Latvia was surveyed in a cross-sectional study. The anthropometric measurements of height, weight, (3) circumferences, and 5 skinfolds were performed. The percentage of body fat was calculated by the equation of Slaughter et al. Body mass index and fat mass index were calculated for each respondent. Children were divided into groups according to these indexes. At the age of 9 years, 69.5% of boys had a normal nutritional level either by BMI or FMI, and 54.5% and 72.2% of the girls of the same age had a normal nutritional level by BMI and by FMI, respectively. Obesity according to BMI in 9-year-old boys was found to be 4.7% and in girls 6.1%; according to FMI, 3.7% and 2.3%, respectively. A similar trend was also observed in the cohort of 10-year-old children.
The results of the research showed that the problem of high prevalence of Latvian children with underweight is not smaller than the problem of children with obesity. Evaluation of physical development in children based only body mass index may lead to overdiagnosis of obesity.

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