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Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean

Objective: To determine the prevalence of overweight among school children in Bonaire, an island in the Caribbean, and to obtain clues for prevention of overweight.
Methods: In a cross-sectional school-based study, weight and height were measured in all 4–16-year old children in Bonaire (n = 2148). Body mass index was categorized as defined by the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF). The children were administered a questionnaire pertaining to lifestyle and nutrition.
Results: The prevalence of overweight, including obesity, in boys is 24.3%, and 31.9% in girls; obesity is 9.9% and 13.7%, respectively. Approximately half of the children have an unhealthy food pattern. Significantly less overweight (49%) and obese children (45%) are physically active for > 1 hour/day compared to normal weight children (56%).
Conclusion: The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children in Bonaire is high. Prevention of overweight should focus on stimulating healthy eating habits and more physical activity.
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e-Published: 03 Feb, 2014
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