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Srpski arhiv za celokupno lekarstvo 2008 Volume 136, Issue 1-2, Pages: 22-27
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Determinants of body mass index in children and adolescents

Bukara-Radujković Gordana, Zdravković Dragan

INTRODUCTION Body Mass Index (BMI) in boys and girls is predicted by parental BMI, age and occupation. OBJECTIVE Correlation of BMI among children and adolescents in Banjaluka region (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and parental age, BMI, parents’ educational level and occupation, as well as the number of family members were investigated as the possible determinants of overweight and obesity in childhood. METHOD The study included 1204 children and adolescents (578 males, 626 females), 6-17 years old from primary and secondary schools in the Banjaluka region. BMI was calculated from height and weight using the standard formula. Each subject along with his parents answered the questionnaire that contained information about parents’ height and weight, educational level and occupation, as well as the number of family members. RESULTS In all studied children, the prevalence of overweight was 12.2% and of obesity 6.1%. Strong positive correlation was found between parental BMI and age (older than 40 years) in males and females (p<0.001), while parental higher BMI and higher educational level had positive correlation only in males (p<0.001). The number of family members showed negative correlation with overweight/obesity only in females. CONCLUSION The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children’s population in the Banjaluka region is 12.2% and 6.1%, respectively. There is a positive correlation of overweight and obesity in children with parental overweight and obesity, as well as older age, and parental higher educational level.

Keywords: obesity, determinants, children, adolescents, parents

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