JOURNAL ARTICLE

Changes in nutritional status of children and adolescents in Shandong, China from 1995 to 2005

Ying-Xiu Zhang, Shu-Rong Wang
Annals of Human Biology 2011, 38 (4): 485-91
21338249

BACKGROUND: Nutritional status of children and adolescents has long been known to be a determinant of health and disease; both obesity and underweight are associated with health consequences. However, no studies have been reported on changes in nutritional status of children and adolescents in Shandong, China.

AIM: The present study assessed the changes in nutritional status of children and adolescents in Shandong Province from 1995 to 2005.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Data used derived from two national surveys on students' constitution and health carried out by the government in 1995 and 2005 in Shandong Province, China. Increments of stature, body weight, body mass index (BMI) and haemoglobin (Hb) for children and adolescents aged 7, 9, 12, 14 and 17 years were reported. Prevalence of underweight, overweight and obesity were obtained according to the screening criteria of underweight, overweight and obesity for Chinese students using BMI and prevalence of anaemia was obtained according to the WHO criteria.

RESULTS: Means of stature, body weight, BMI and Hb for both boys and girls surveyed in 2005 were significantly higher than 1995 values. The range of increments of stature and body weight for adolescents aged 7, 9, 12, 14 and 17 years were 1.95-3.66 cm and 2.21-6.25 kg for boys and 1.40-2.91 cm and 1.48-3.10 kg for girls. In the past 10 years, rates of overweight and obesity increased, while underweight was not as evident: for overweight from 7.95% (boys) and 5.21% (girls) in 1995 to 13.62% (boys) and 8.25% (girls) in 2005; and for obesity from 3.48% (boys) and 2.07% (girls) in 1995 to 11.17% (boys) and 5.64% (girls) in 2005. The rate of anaemia decreased, from 19.99% (boys) and 23.43% (girls) in 1995 to 10.28% (boys) and 13.07% (girls) in 2005.

CONCLUSION: The nutritional status of children and adolescents has shown some improvement, although prevalence of overweight and obesity increased significantly during the 10-year period. Concerted efforts should be made to appropriately control the prevalence of overweight and obesity.

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