Prevalence of overweight and underweight in children and adolescents in districts of Gdańsk
More details
Hide details
Department of Health Promotion, Gdańsk University of Physical Education and Sport
Department of Physiotherapy, Gdańsk University of Physical Education and Sport
University of Bydgoszcz
The Centre for the Promotion of Child Health and Fitness in Gdańsk
Department of Informatics and Statistics, Gdańsk University of Physical Education and Sport
Corresponding author
Anna Łysak   

University of Physical Education and Sport, Kazimierza Górskiego 1, 80-336 Gdańsk, Poland
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2014;8(1):23-26
Neighbourhood impact on health has been the subject of many studies. They demonstrated that the health status of both adults and children depends, among other things, on the local environment. In turn, obesity in children and adolescents remains a major health problem in developed countries. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of overweight and underweight in children and adolescents (6–18-years-old) studying in schools located in different districts of Gdańsk, northern Poland.

Material and Methods:
The study was conducted in the 2008–2009 school year in the 6th largest city in Poland – Gdańsk (456,967 inhabitants). The study group comprised 25,609 children and adolescents, including 13,000 boys and 12,609 girls. The international standard IOTF (International Obesity Task Force) was used to determine overweight and underweight.

The incidence of overweight in the group was 19.15%, and of underweight 10.83%. Differences in the prevalence of these anomalies between particular Gdańsk districts were statistically significant (p = 0.0000). Underweight was observed in 12.32% of the examined girls and in 9.39% of boys. The statistically significant (chi2 test) prevalence of overweight and underweight depending on the district needs further clarification.

Knowledge of these determinants is essential for creating effective health promotion programmes. It seems that in searching for determinants in future studies, the influence of the contextual factor should be considered.

Moudon AV, Cook AJ, Ulmer J, Hurvitz PM, Drewnowski A. A Neighborhood Wealth Metric for Use in Health Studies. Am J Prev Med. 2011; 41(1): 88–97.
Berry TR, Spence JC, Blanchard C, et al. Changes in BMI over 6 years: the role of demographic and neighborhood characteristics. Int J Obes. 2010; 34(8): 1275–1283.
Olds T, Maher C, Shi ZM, et al. Evidence that the prevalence of childhood overweight is plateauing: data from nine countries. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2011; 6(5–6): 342–360.
Lacy K, Kremer P, de Silva-Sanigorski A, et al. The appropriateness of opt-out consent for monitoring childhood obesity in Australia. Pediatr Obes. 2012; 7(5): 62–67.
Monasta L, Batty GD, Cattaneo A, et al. Early-life determinants of overweight and obesity: a review of systematic reviews. Obes Rev. 2010; 11(10): 695–708.
Harrington DW, Elliott SJ. Weighing the importance of neighbourhood: A multilevel exploration of the determinants of overweight and obesity. Soc Sci Med. 2009; 68(4): 593–600.
Koupil I, Toivanen P. Social and early-life determinants of overweight and obesity in 18-year-old Swedish men. Int J Obes. 2008; 32(1): 73–81.
Tamayo T, Herder C, Rathmann W. Impact of early psychosocial factors (childhood socioeconomic factors and adversities) on future risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic disturbances and obesity: a systematic review. BMC Public Health 2010; 10: 525.
McLaren L. Socioeconomic status and obesity. Epidemiol Rev. 2007; 29: 29–48.
MacFarlane AM, Abbott GR, Crawford DA, Ball K. Sociodemographic and behavioural correlates of weight status among women with children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Int J Obes. 2009; 33(11): 1289–1298.
Silventoinen K, Rokholm B, Kaprio J, Sorensen TA. The genetic and environmental influences on childhood obesity: a systematic review of twin and adoption studies. Int J Obes. 2010; 34(1): 29–40.
Oblacińska A KH, Mazur J. Socjoekonomiczne uwarunkowania dysharmonii rozwoju fizycznego młodzieży 15 letniej w Polsce. In, Med Wieku Rozw. 2008; 12: 549–557 (in Polish).
Malinowski A BW. Podstawy antropometrii. Metody, techniki, normy. Warszawa: PWN; 1997 (in Polish).
Malina RM BC. Growth maturation and physical activity. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 1991.
Cole TJ, Bellizzi MC, Flegal KM, Dietz WH. Establishing a standard definition for child overweight and obesity worldwide: international survey. Br Med J. 2000; 320(7244): 1240–1243.
Cole TJ, Flegal KM, Nicholls D, Jackson AA. Body mass index cut offs to define thinness in children and adolescents: international survey. Br Med J. 2007; 335(7612): 194–197.
Macintyre S, Ellaway A, Cummins S. Place effects on health: how cawe conceptualise, operationalise and measure them? Soc Sci Med. 2002; 55(1): 125–139.
Veugelers P, Sithole F, Zhang S, Muhajarine N. Neighborhood characteristics in relation to diet, physical activity and overweight of Canadian children. Int J Pediatr Obes. 2008; 3(3): 152–159.
Lumeng JC, Appugliese D, Cabral HJ, Bradley RH, Zuckerman B. Neighborhood safety and overweight status in children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006; 160(1): 25–31.
Cochrane T, Davey RC, Gidlow C, et al. Small Area and Individual Level Predictors of Physical Activity in Urban Communities: A Multi-Level Study in Stoke on Trent, England. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health. 2009; 6(2): 654–677.
Grow HMG, Cook AJ, Arterburn DE, et al. Child obesity associated with social disadvantage of children›s neighborhoods. Soc Sci Med. 2010; 71(3): 584–591.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top