Journal article Open Access

Prevalence of overweight and obesity in pediatric surgical population

Antabak, Anko; Papes, Dino; Zaller, Josipa; Penezic, Luka; Bulic, Kresimir; Luetic, Tomislav

Background: Obesity has become one of the most significant public health problems in the world in recent decades. It is associated with an increased incidence of postoperative complications, and there is a cause-and-effect relationship between obesity and increased prevalence of injury in children. Although there are studies in the world that indicate an increased incidence of obesity among surgically treated children, no such research has been conducted in Croatia so far.

Materials and methods: This study aimed to determine the nutritional status of children treated at the Department of Pediatric Surgery at two samples in the time lag of eight years (2010 and 2018). In 2010, 1205 children were treated in hospital, 790 children fulfilled the inclusion criteria. In 2018, 1316 children were treated in hospital, and 790 children met the inclusion criteria. The collected data were compared with the existing health statistics.

Results: The proportion of obese children was 29.7% in patients treated in 2010 and 29.7% in patients treated in 2018. In 2010 the highest prevalence of obese children was in pre-school age (23.8%) and overweight in school-age (16.7%). In 2018 the highest incidence of obesity in school children was 38.9%, in preschool-age 31.6%, in puberty 28.3%, and the lowest in adolescents 23.3%.

Conclusion: The prevalence of obesity in children undergoing hospitalization for surgical illness is higher than in the general population. There was no trend of increasing the incidence of obesity over a 10-year time lag.

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