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Cogent Medicine ; 8, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1617058


Introduction: Childhood overweight and obesity remain serious public health problem. In the Republic of Kazakhstan, few studies have quantified overweight rates among children. To assess overweight and obesity in primary school children based on measured intercountry comparable data, a cross-sectional survey was implemented in 2020 based on the World Health Organization (WHO) European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) protocol. Material and Methods: The study was conducted on a national representative sample of 6851 children of 2-3 grades in October-December 2020. The anthropometric variables were measured by standardized equipment to calculate body mass index. Prevalence of overweight and obesity was determined for 6-9-year-old children by gender using WHO growth reference 2007. The prevalence of weight categories was compared for 8-year-olds with the 2015 COSI survey. Results: 20,6% of children aged 6-9 years old were overweight, and 6,6% were obese. Among boys, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher, 23,6% and 8,7%, respectively, compared to girls 17,6% and 4,6%, respectively (p <0.001). The prevalence of overweight among children living in urban areas was 23.1%, significantly higher than children from rural areas-17.5% (p <0.001). The same trend is observed for obesity both by gender and by place of residence. The prevalence of obese children is higher in urban areas (8.0%) compared with the proportion of obese children in rural areas (5.2%). During the period between two surveys (2015-2020) the prevalence of overweight among 8-year-old boys increased from 18.7% in 2015 to 24.2% in 2020 and for obesity from 6.6% in 2015 to 9.6% in 2020, although non-significantly. No changes in these indicators were found in girls. Conclusion: Thus, one-fifth of Kazakhstan children 6-9 years of age were overweight or obese. The results of the child surveys from 2015 and 2020 demonstrate the trend for a plateau in overweight and obesity prevalence. The survey results demonstrate the need for actions to mobilize policy and society to tackle the childhood obesity epidemic and the need for continuous monitoring trends to better understand the progression of childhood overweight and obesity.