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Title: Demographic variables and childhood obesity community-based program in Portugal
Authors: Baptista, Patrícia
Silva, Ana Lúcia
Ramos, Carlos
Carvalho, Maria Ana
Rito, Ana
Keywords: Childhood obesity
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is well known that obesity is one of the most Public Health’s concerns especially among children1. The prevalence of overweight and obesity have been increasing consistently throughout the European Union (EU), affecting everyday a higher number of children and adolescents. Recent data reports that childhood obesity in Portugal increased in the last years, representing nowadays 32.2% of overweight and 14.6% of obesity2. Family, as the primary children source of social learning, habits and behaviors’ influence and exposure have shown a basic determinant to food and physical activity children’ choices3,4,5. The role of family and parental factors in childhood obesity suggests that single-parent, no siblings and small family size are associated with larger increases in Body Mass Index (BMI)3,4,6. Family provides social and interpersonal support that is instrumental in shaping and maintaining eating and physical activity behaviors, communitybased health programmes focus also on family educational policies and strategies have been developed in some European Countries, showing relevant impact on health patterns and a decrease on childhood obesity prevalence’s. Based on the recognized success of these programmes we developed the community-based programme defined as Munsi in order to identify the main factors behind the Portuguese nutritional children status and create an healthy community life-style.
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