Prevalence of overweight and obesity in a group of children between the ages of 2 to 12 years old in Puerto Rico

Myrta Otero-González, Lourdes García-Fragoso


Background: Obesity in children has been related with co-morbid conditions being an important risk factor in adult morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of overweight/obesity in a group of children in Puerto Rico. Methods: Participants included 158 children receiving pediatric care at the San Juan City Hospital and a primary care clinic. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated in children and parents. Results: Fifty-six percent of children were overweight/obese as well as 61% of mothers and 75% of fathers. Using weight-height percentiles graphs, 49% of children were overweight. Conclusions: This study shows the high prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and their parents. Using the BMI for evaluating weight identified more children at risk than the traditionally used graphs. Identifying risk factors will help health care professionals and parents intervene to improve the health of these families.


Obesity; Children; Overweight

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Published by the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
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