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How obese are Australian children?



How obese are Australian children?



Journal of food and nutrition9(3): 132-133



Data taken from a previous publication were analyzed separately for boys and girls to determine the proportions of New South Wales children falling within different weight-for-height categories at selected heights. Percentages of children of different heights whose weights were 110-120% (overweight) and over 120% (obese) of the mean weight value (as well as below 80% and from 80-90%) are given. It appeared that between 4-10% of the boys should be classed as obese, and a further 7-13% as overweight. For girls, these values were 6-9% and 6-16% for obese and overweight, respectively. About 1-5% of the boys and 1-6% of the girls were below the 80% weight-for-height standard, and might be considered as marasmic. Using the median weights and heights from the Boston growth series, about 10% of the boys and 13% of the girls would be classed as obese, with an additional 22% of the boys and 20% of the girls considered as overweight. As much public concern should be expressed about the underweight children as about those overweight. (wz)

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