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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 737592, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/737592
Research Article

Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity, and Thinness in Cameroon Urban Children and Adolescents

1Laboratory of Nutrition and Nutritional Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé 1, P.O. Box 8418, Yaoundé, Cameroon
2Centre de Recherche Institut Universitaire Cardiologie & Pneumologie de Québec, Y4323, 2725 Chemin Sainte-Foy, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 4G5

Received 26 March 2013; Revised 15 May 2013; Accepted 28 May 2013

Academic Editor: Yvon Chagnon

Copyright © 2013 Ponce Cedric Fouejeu Wamba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. This study examined the prevalence of thinness, overweight, and obesity in Cameroon children ranging from 8 to 15 years old using several published references as evaluation tools. Methods. A stratified sample was used with eleven schools randomly selected, and data from 2689 children (52.2% girls) ranging from 8 to 15 years were analyzed. Weight and height were recorded and BMI was calculated. BMI cutoffs used to define nutritional status grades included two international and three national published indices which were compared to our database-derived cutoffs. Results. A prevalence of 9.5% thinness and 12.4% overweight including 1.9% obesity according to international references was detected. A 2.2% low-weight-for-age, 5.7% low-height-for-age, and 5.2% low-weight-for-height were identified. Overall, there were significant differences using calculations based on our database versus published reference values and between boys versus girls. Conclusions. This study demonstrates that prevalence of thinness, overweight, and obesity is similar to that of other leading-emerging countries reported within the last decade, yet it is still lower than prevalence in developed countries. Ethnic background and social environment have impact on prevalences, highlighting the importance of evaluating the Cameroon population based on locally derived database.