High levels of childhood obesity observed among 3- to 7-year-old New Zealand Pacific children is a public health concern.


Gordon, FK; Ferguson, EL; Toafa, V; Henry, TE; Goulding, A; Grant, AM; Guthrie, BE; (2003) High levels of childhood obesity observed among 3- to 7-year-old New Zealand Pacific children is a public health concern. The Journal of nutrition, 133 (11). pp. 3456-60. ISSN 0022-3166

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Abstract

This cross-sectional, community-based survey was designed to assess attained growth and body composition of 3- to 7-y-old Pacific children (n = 21 boys and 20 girls) living in Dunedin, New Zealand, and to examine nondietary factors associated with the percentage of body fat. Fat mass, lean tissue mass and the percentage of body fat were measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. One trained anthropometrist also measured height, weight, skinfolds (triceps, subscapular) and circumferences (mid-upper arm, chest, waist, calf). Compared with the National Center for Health Statistics and National Health and Examination Surveys I and II reference data, these Pacific children were tall and heavy for their age with high arm-muscle-area-for-height. Median (quartiles) Z-scores for height and BMI-for-age and arm-muscle-area-for-height were 1.33 (0.60, 2.15), 1.20 (0.74, 4.43) and 1.09 (0.63, 1.85), respectively. Their median (quartile) percentage of body fat was 21.8% (15.0, 35.5) of which 38.5% was located in the trunk. The estimated percentage of children classified as obese ranged from 34 to 49% depending on the criterion used. Over 60% of the children had levels of trunk fat above 1 SD of reported age- and sex-specific Z-scores for New Zealand children. The nondietary factors examined (hours of television viewing and hours playing organized sports, as reported by parents) were not associated with variations in the percentage of body fat, after adjusting for age, sex and birth weight. These extremely high levels of obesity and truncal fat among very young New Zealand children will have major public health implications as these children age.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
PubMed ID: 14608058
Web of Science ID: 186650600021
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/7755

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