Prevalence of overweight and underweight in public and private schools in the Seychelles
Bovet P, Chiolero A, Madeleine G, Paccaud F.
Objective. We compared the prevalence of body weight categories between public and private schools in the Seychelles, a rapidly developing small island state in the African region. Methods. In 2004–2006, weight and height were measured and self-reported information on physical activity collected in children of three selected grades in all schools in the country. Overweight, obesity and thinness were defined according to standard criteria. Results. Based on 8 462 students (377 in private schools), the prevalence of overweight (including obesity) was markedly higher in private than public schools (boys: 37% [95% CI: 31–44] vs. 15% [14–16]; girls: 33% [26–41] vs. 20% [19–22]). The prevalence of thinness grade 1 was lower in private than public schools (boys: 9% [5–13] vs. 20% [19–21]; girls: 13% [8–18] vs. 19% [18–20]). Students in private schools reported more physical activity at leisure time while students in public schools reported larger weekly walking time. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that school type may be a useful indicator for assessing the association between socio-economic status and overweight in children, and that overweight affects wealthy children more often than others in developing countries.
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