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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 537451, 7 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Urban Elementary School Children in Northeastern Romania: Its Relationship with Socioeconomic Status and Associated Dietary and Lifestyle Factors

Department of Pathophysiology, Grigore T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 700115 Iasi, Romania

Received 12 April 2013; Revised 17 June 2013; Accepted 18 June 2013

Academic Editor: Alejandro Lomniczi

Copyright © 2013 Veronica Mocanu. 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.


The purpose of this paper is to estimate the prevalence of obesity and to identify its potential determinants to optimize the methods of prevention to combat further increases in childhood overweight. The study was carried out on 3444 school children of 6–10 years of age attending 30 schools in northeast Romania. Schools were classified by geographical location and socioeconomic status (SES). Overweight and obesity status were determined using IOTF BMI cut-off points. Prevalence of overweight (including obesity) was found to be 24.6% among boys and 22.6% among girls, whereas the prevalence of obesity was 7.8% in boys and 6.3% in girls. High SES (OR: 1.46; 95% CI: 1.10–1.93) and eating French fries and chips (OR: 1.81; 95% CI: 1.24–2.67) were associated with increased risk of overweight. In high- and medium-SES children, overweight was positively associated with the consumption of French fries and chips (2.93, 95% CI: 1.54–5.60 and 1.82, 95% CI: 1.04–3.21). In low-SES children, overweight was associated with low fruit consumption (0.21, 95% CI: 0.05–1.00) and sedentary behavior (3.37, 95% CI: 1.13–10.05). Therefore, the social and environmental determinants should be considered when constructing and implementing preventive measures regarding overweight and obesity.