Obesity is a major threat to children's health today. The prevalence of obesity has been steadily increasing; over the past 25 years, the number of obese children has nearly tripled and is more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as type 2 diabetes high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Research objectives were to study the current prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Egypt from 2000 to 2008, to estimate the prevalence of glucose disorders, hypertension, lipid profile, and metabolic syndrome, and to investigate some related risk factors among 10 to 18 years old school adolescents. For assessing prevalence rates of overweight and obesity among adolescents, data from reports of other cross-sectional studies carried out by National Nutrition Institute (NNI) (2000 to 2005) and Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (2008) were compared. To estimate the prevalence of glucose disorders, hypertension, lipid profile, and metabolic syndrome, a randomized stratified cluster-sample of preparatory and secondary school students was used. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated and referred to corresponding international reference values for age and sex. A fasting blood sample was drawn to assess lipid profile and fasting plasma insulin. Overweight and obesity are prevalent among Egyptian adolescents of both sexes, and at least, for girls, the prevalence has increased in the last few years. Pre-diabetic state was present among 16.4% of adolescents. The crude prevalence of hypertension is 1.4%. The overall proportion of adolescents with high total cholesterol is 6.0%; the proportion with high lower density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol is 7.5%, with high triglycerides of 8.2%, and low higher density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol of 9.4%. We conclude that overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), hypertension and cardiovascular risk factors in young are serious in terms of morbidity and mortality, suggesting that they are an appropriate target for screening.
Key words: Prevalence, overweight and obesity, chronic non- communicable diseases, Egyptian adolescents.
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