International Journal of Body Composition Research vol:6 issue:2 pages:51-58
Objective: To provide recent estimates of the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity among Belgian (Flemish) preadolescents aged 9-10 years and to investigate the association with various energy balance-related behaviours.
Methods: A sample of 1008 Flemish school children from 26 randomly selected elementary schools filled in a questionnaire to evaluate club-organized sports participation, outdoor play, transportation to school, screen-based media use and nutritional habits. After completion of the questionnaire, weight and height of the children were measured.
Results: Using Body Mass Index (BMI)-values, derived from measured height and weight, and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) BMI cut-off criteria, 15% of the children were at increased health risk related to overweight(including obesity). Results from the gender adjusted linear regression analysis showed a significant relationship (P<0.05) between overweight (including obesity) and non-participation in club-organized sport activities, low levels of outdoor play (once a week or less), high levels of television viewing (4 hours or more on an average school day) and non-daily consumption of vegetables.
Conclusion: Apart from the relationship with some food items, the prevalence rate for overweight (including obesity) in this study was more likely to be affected by lifestyle factors that decreased energy expenditure. Therefore, intervention programs for this age group should focus on maximizing physical activity opportunities in different contexts and settings in order to counteract the increasing prevalence in childhood overweight and obesity.
The present study is part of an international collaborative research project on Children’s Lifestyles. Participating countries are Belarus,Belgium-Flanders, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland,Russia and Switzerland. The international coordinators for the 2006–2007 survey were Prof. Dr. Hans-Peter Brandl-Bredenbeck (Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, Germany) and Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Brettschneider (Universtät Paderborn, Germany). This publication makes use of data from Belgium-Flanders only.