Overweight and Obesity among Preschool Children aged 2–5 Years in Alexandria, Egypt

Amany A. Salama1*, Dalia I. Tayel2
1Nutrition Department, Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences, Pharos University, Alexandria, Egypt. 2Nutrition Department, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt
*Corresponding Author Email Address: [email protected] 

Background: Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem in many countries worldwide. The aim of this study was to investigate whether obesity among preschool children in Alexandria-Egypt, was problematic, and to identify the risk factors contributing to obesity in children. Subjects and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted on 500 preschool children of both sexes, aged between 2-5 years in Alexandria-Egypt. Sociodemographic data about the children and eating practices were collected from each child’s mother. Weight and height were measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. World Health Organization cut-off values of BMI-for-age percentiles were used to determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity. Results: Overweight accounted for 14% and obesity 23% for the entire studied sample. Prevalence of overweight and obesity were 15.8% and 22.2% among boys, and 12.2% and 24.0% among girls, respectively. Children aged from 24 to 36 months reported the highest prevalence of overweight 40.8%. Whereas, children aged from 48 to 60 months were more obese, 52.2%. High daily fat intake, small family size, housewife-mothers, and frequent snacking on fatty fast foods were statistically significant associated with overweight and obesity, P < 0.05. Conclusion: The prevalence of preschool children overweight and obesity in Alexandria is becoming a serious public health problem; considering that Egypt is still suffering from childhood undernutrition mostly in the form of stunting. Frequent snacking on fatty fast foods, mother working status, and family size were among factors associated with preschool children overweight and obesity in Alexandria, Egypt.

Keywords: Preschool, Obesity, Risk Factors, Egypt

Citation: Salama AA, Tayel DI. Overweight and Obesity among Preschool Children aged 2–5 Years in Alexandria, Egypt. Canad J Clin Nutr 2018; 6 (1): 34-54.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14206/canad.j.clin.nutr.2018.01.04