Child obe­sity rates in­creased dur­ing cri­sis

Survey in­di­cates re­ver­sal of pos­i­tive trend, shows eat­ing habits wors­ened

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A new study points to an in­crease in child obe­sity dur­ing the years of Greece’s eco­nomic cri­sis, rev­ers­ing an ap­par­ent sta­bi­liza­tion of the phe­nom­e­non in the years prior to that.

The pro­por­tion of pri­mary school chil­dren in At­tica deemed to be obese rose from 8.2 per­cent in 2009 to 9.4 per­cent in 2014, ac­cord­ing to the study car­ried out by the di- etol­ogy depart­ment at Athens’s Haroko­pio Univer­sity on a sam­ple of 28,860 school­child­ren dur­ing the 2009-10 aca­demic year and 30,425 in 2013-14.

Aca­demics who par­tic­i­pated in the study said the re­sults ap­peared to sug­gest the re­ver­sal of a pos­i­tive trend in the pre-2009 pe­riod, when child obe­sity rates had sta­bi­lized and ap­peared to be drop­ping.

The study sug­gested that chil­dren liv­ing in fam­i­lies with a lower dis­pos­able in­come were more likely to be obese.

The re­sults of the study also in­di­cated a rise in the pro­por­tion of chil­dren who skip break­fast – to 24.9 per­cent this year from 14.8 per­cent in 2009 – and a drop to 45.8 per­cent, from 66.2 per­cent, in the pro­por­tion of chil­dren who eat fish or pulses at least once a week.

In ad­di­tion, the pro­por­tion of chil­dren who eat out once a week plunged to 18.5 per­cent from 65.1 per­cent.

Sep­a­rately, Health Min­is­ter Makis Voridis said the gov­ern­ment would hence­forth cover the cost of equip­ment such as glu­cose mon­i­tors, test strips and blood lancets for unin­sured di­a­betes suf­fer­ers.

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