Objective: To examine the trend in prevalence of overweight and obesity in schoolchildren from south-eastern Poland over a 10-year period.
Materials and method: A cross-sectional study was conducted in randomly selected primary schools. In total, 4,248 children (2,182 boys and 2,066 girls), mean age 10.5±2.4 years, were examined in 1998, and 2,412 children (1,184 boys and 1,228 girls), mean age 10.5±2.3 years in 2008. In each school the entire population was studied.
Results: In 2008, the prevalence of overweight in girls was 13.3% and obesity 7.7%, compared to 12.0% and 10.1% in 1998. The decrease in obesity prevalence was statistically significant. In boys, the prevalence of overweight in 2008 was 14.2% and obesity 6.4%, compared to 10.5% and 6.8% in 1998. The increase in overweight prevalence among boys was statistically significant.
Conclusions: A trend toward stabilization of the prevalence of overweight and obesity was noted in school children from south-eastern Poland between 1998-2008. The declining prevalence of obesity in girls and increased prevalence of overweight in boys demonstrates that in this age group of children the secular trend is gender dependent.