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A study shows that Brazilian children are taller and fatter.  Understand the risks

A study shows that Brazilian children are taller and fatter. Understand the risks

There are more Brazilian children Tall and obeseThis is according to a study published in the scientific journal last March Lancet Regional Health – Americas. The survey analyzed more than 100 metrics Five million children There was an average growth of 1 cm in the child's height and more than 2% in its prevalence obesity Between the sexes.

The work, conducted by researchers from the Center for Integration of Data and Knowledge for Health (Cidacs/Fiocruz Bahia), in collaboration with the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and University College London, an English-language higher education institution, analyzed data from children in Ages 3 to 10, born from 2001 to 2014.

These data were obtained from three administrative systems: the Unified Register of Social Programs of the Federal Government (CadÚnico), the Live Birth Information System (Sinasc), and the Food and Nutrition Surveillance System (Sisvan). This methodology in itself already shows that administrative data can be a powerful tool for scientific production, according to researcher Carolina Vieira, who led the study.

To conduct the analysis, the data was divided into two groups: children born between 2001 and 2007, and between 2008 and 2014. Thus, by comparing the trends of the two groups, it was possible to reach some conclusions:


  • Regarding height, children of both sexes presented a Increase 1 cm On the average growth path;
  • As for the body mass index, which is a measure that links the weight and height of each individual, there was a slight increase in both genders. In boys, an increase of 0.06 kg per m2 was observed, and in girls, 0.04 kg per m2.
  • When analyzing overweight In the age group From 5 to 10 yearsThere was an increase in the prevalence of this factor in both sexes, especially boys. For them, there was an increase of 3.2%, while for girls the increase was 2.7%. In children 3 and 4 yearsThe scenario was similar, but more moderate. This growth reached 0.9% for boys, while it reached 0.8% for girls.
  • regarding obesity from children From 5 to 10 years, The prevalence of this factor increased by 2.7% among boys and 2.1% among girls. In younger children, 3 and 4 yearsThere was also an increase, but less clearly. Growth for boys reached 0.5% and 0.3% for girls.
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What do these results mean?

According to Carolina, these results are alarming, especially those related to her obesity.

It is considered a chronic disease and one of the largest public health problems in the world. According to Cricio Alves, head of the Endocrinology Department of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP), obese children have a high chance of developing other types of problems in the long term, such as changes in cholesterol and triglycerides; Arterial hypertension; Type 2 diabetes; Cerebrovascular accident (CVA); And even some types cancer

According to the researcher who led the research, the increasing trend in the prevalence of childhood obesity is linked to new dietary patterns, richer in ultra-processed foods, as well as sedentary behaviours. Therefore, according to her, Brazil is far from achieving the goal Global Health Organization To stop the increase in the prevalence of obesity by 2030.

On the other hand, the observed length growth trend is positive. According to the researcher, being taller is associated with better health outcomes, such as a lower likelihood of heart disease and stroke and increased longevity. According to the expert, this change reflects economic development and improvement in living conditions in recent years. / With information from Fiocruz