Changes in the Incidence of Underweight and Overweight in Children and Adolescents from Rural Areas

Helena Popławska, Elżbieta Huk Wieliczuk, Agnieszka Dmitruk

Abstract


Research background and hypothesis. Considering the socio-economic transformations affecting the life style
of rural families of Estern Poland, it seemed worthwhile determining changes in the frequency of occurrence of
overweight and underweight among girls and boys from this region, as the negative effects of improvements in life
conditions include an increase in overweight and obesity, which in some countries takes the form of epidemics.
Research aim was determine changes over time in the frequency of occurrence of underweight and overweight
(including obesity) among children and adolescents in Eastern Poland considering social variation.
Research methods. Information was obtained applying a questionnaire survey concerning the educational level
of parents and the number of children in the family. The standards recommended by the International Obesity Task
Force were used for the evaluation of underweight and overweight including obesity, based on the BMI index.
Research results. During the period of time between 1998 and 2007, an increase was observed in the frequency
of occurrence of overweight and obesity, accompanied by a decrease in underweight among boys. In girls, an
opposite trend was noted – an increase in the number of underweight girls and a decrease in the frequency of
occurrence of overweight and obesity. In addition, social differences were noted concerning BMI values: girls
and boys with overweight and obesity most often came from families with lower levels of parental education and
a larger number of children in the family.
Conclusions and perspectives. The education of parents and the number of children, in spite of observed social
and economic positive changes in Poland, still have an infl uence on the frequency of occurrence of overweight
and obesity in children and the youth of the rural areas.

Keywords: body mass index, time changes, social conditions.


Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.33607/bjshs.v2i81.330