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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 95, Issue 6, pp 419–423 | Cite as

Using Routine Growth Monitoring Data in Tracking Overweight Prevalence in Young Children

  • Meizi HeEmail author
  • Judy Sutton
Article

Abstract

Background

Childhood obesity is a public health concern in Canada. Few anthropometrical data are available to monitor the obesity trend in young Canadian children. This study explored the feasibility of using routine growth monitoring data from physicians’ offices for tracking the prevalence of obesity in children from two to six years of age in County of Middlesex and the City of London, Ontario.

Method

Data on body weight and height were retrieved from the growth chart at each immunization visit and routine checkup in five medical centres in the Middlesex-London area. Postal code data were also collected as a proxy measure for socio-economic status. The BMI-for-age references by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States were used to classify the weight status of the children.

Results

In total, 1,370 growth charts of children from two to six years of age were reviewed. Approximately 30% of young children were either at risk of being overweight or were overweight, with an onset as early as age two.

Conclusion

Overweight is prevalent in young children. Data from routine growth monitoring in primary health care settings have great potential to be used as a population-based data source to track the prevalence of obesity in young children.

Résumé

Contexte

L’obésité de l’enfance est un problème de santé publique au Canada, mais on a peu de données anthropométriques pour en surveiller la progression chez les jeunes enfants. Nous avons cherché à déterminer s’il était possible d’utiliser les données de surveillance de la croissance couramment recueillies dans les cabinets de médecins pour suivre la prévalence de l’obésité chez les enfants de deux à six ans du comté de Middlesex et de la ville de London, en Ontario.

Méthode

Nos données sur le poids et la taille des enfants provenaient de leur fiche de croissance à chaque vaccination et à chaque examen médical complet dans cinq centres médicaux de la région de Middlesex-London. Nous avons aussi recueilli des données sur le code postal comme variables substitutives pour mesurer le statut socio-économique. Les données de référence concernant l’indice de masse corporelle selon l’âge, élaborées par les Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) des États-Unis, ont servi à classer le statut pondéral des enfants.

Résultats

Nous avons examiné en tout 1 370 fiches de croissance d’enfants de deux à six ans. Environ 30 % des jeunes enfants étaient à risque de surcharge pondérale ou satisfaisaient déjà au critère de surcharge pondérale, parfois dès l’âge de deux ans.

Conclusion

L’embonpoint est courant chez les jeunes enfants. Les données extraites de la surveillance régulière de la croissance en milieu de soins de santé primaires pourraient être des outils représentatifs très intéressants pour suivre la prévalence de l’obésité chez les jeunes enfants.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Health Research and Development (PHRED) ProgramMiddlesex-London Health UnitLondonCanada
  2. 2.TorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Human EcologyBrescia University CollegeLondonCanada

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