[Prevalence of obesity in school children in Ivory Coast].Ann Cardiol Angeiol (Paris). 2012 Jun; 61(3):145-9.AC
According to the World Health Organization, an increased prevalence of hypertension in children is observed since several years due to an epidemic of childhood obesity. What is the extent of this epidemic in our African context?
We conducted a prospective descriptive study of pupils encountered in primary and secondary schools of the district of Abidjan from May 3 to June 1st 2010. A sample of 2038 pupils aged 6 to 18 years was randomly selected. Overweight in pupils was assessed by body mass index (BMI).
There were 1182 girls (58%) and 856 boys (42%) whose average age was 12.7±3.6 years. The average weight was 42.6kg±16 (range 14.6 to 106.2kg), the average size was 1.48m±0.19 (range 1 to 1.95m). BMI was 17.2kg/m(2)±3.7 (range 14.6-35.7). The prevalence of obesity was of 5%. In addition, 4% of the students were overweight, 39% extremely thin, 25% thin and 27% normal. Obesity was more common in girls (6.8%) than boys (1.8%). The prevalence of obesity in hypertensives was 16%. BMI influenced the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both sexes (P<0.001 in both cases).
Childhood obesity exists in a country like the Ivory Coast where wealthness is far from generalized. A well-organized management of childhood obesity is necessary to avoid complications such as hypertension.