Obesity rate in primary school is 9.9%

Stating that obesity ranks second after smoking among the preventable deaths, Public Health Specialist Dr. Nurten Elkin stated that the number of childhood obesity is increasing day by day and has become an important public health problem. Dr. Elkin said: "The rate of being overweight is 14.6% and the rate of obesity is 9.9% in primary school second grade children.”

Obesity rate in primary school is 9.9%

Istanbul Gelisim University (IGU) Faculty of Health Sciences Child Development Department Head Asst. Prof. Dr. Nurten Elkin made statements about childhood obesity. Stating that the number of childhood obesity is increasing day by day all over the World Dr. Elkin said: “According to the data of Turkish Statistical Institute (TSI), the obesity proportion of individuals aged 15 is 19.6%. According to the data from Turkey Childhood Obesity Research (COSI-TUR) of the 2016 rate of being overweight among primary school children in 2nd grade is 14.6% and obesity rate is 9.9%”

Stating that the shorter the sleep time, the obesity percentage increases, Dr Elkin said: “For this reason, it is important that children are not allowed to watch television, tablet, mobile phone, computer in the first 2 years of age, screen exposure should not exceed 2 hours a day after the age of 2, eat in front of the television and screen, and not have a television, mobile phone and tablet in the children's room.”


Stating that childhood obesity is not limited to childhood, Dr. Elkin said: “Most of them can continue their lives as obese adults in the future. It causes obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and some types of cancer. It brings not only biological but also many psychological problems in individuals. For this reason, our priority as healthcare providers is not to treat obesity after its development, but to prevent the development of obesity with preventive measures to be taken starting from infancy and even the prenatal period in the mother's womb.”

Dr. Elkin concluded her speech with the following:

“Individual, family, school and community-based measures are all very important in preventing childhood and adolescent obesity. The family, especially the mother, has a great responsibility in the acquisition of healthy eating habits and in ensuring the physical activity of the child. Healthy and regular eating habits should be established not only for the child but also for all family members in preventing obesity. Parents should be good role models for children in terms of nutrition and physical activity. A healthy school environment, healthy nutrition literacy and physical activity guidelines should be created for school-age children and youth. Prevention of obesity is important in protecting and improving public health.”

Edited date: 25.03.2021
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