High prevalence of the risk of overweight and overweight among Qatari children ages 9 through 11
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to estimate the prevalence of the risk of overweight and overweight in Qatari children ages 9 through 11 and to compare the prevalence using CDC and IOTF cut-offs. Design/methodology/approach – A cross-sectional study in a randomly selected sample of 1,213 Qatari children was carried out. Weight and height were measured and BMI was calculated for all children. The risk of overweight and overweight were defined using as references both the CDC BMI percentiles for age and gender and IOTF cut-off values. Findings – Weight, height, and BMI increased with age and differences were significant ( p , 0.0001). According to the CDC and IOTF references, the overall prevalence of the risk of overweight affected 15.8 and 21.1 per cent respectively, while overweight was prevalent in 21.8 and 17.7 per cent respectively. Using either reference, the prevalence of the risk of overweight was higher among girls compared with boys (22.4 per cent, 19.4 per cent respectively), while overweight was higher among boys than among girls (20.6 per cent, 15.5 per cent respectively) but the differences were not statistically significant for both. Originality/value – This study focused on children aged 9-11 years, which represents a transition period between childhood and adolescence. Studying overweight in childhood is important since identification of children who may become obese adults can facilitate early intervention and avoidance of the morbidity and mortality associated with adult obesity. Limited studies on the prevalence of overweight have been conducted in Qatar.