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Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice


BACKGROUND: The preschool years are a crucial time to study the determinants of childhood obesity, as it is when eating and physical activity habits are becoming established. The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence of overweight and obesity among preschoolers living in the capital of Iran and to determine relationships between overweight and obesity and selected motor- and health-related fitness parameters.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This exploratory cross-sectional study was conducted with 190 boys and 191 girls aged 5-6 years. Study children were selected from the kindergartens in Tehran, the capital of Iran. All children underwent anthropometric, motor- and health-related fitness tests. Height, body mass, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and percentage of body fat (PBF) were measured for anthropometric assessments. Sit-and-reach, modified sit-ups, modified pull-ups, the 4 m × 9 m shuttle run, the 20 m sprint test and the 20 m multistage shuttle run test were measured for motor- and health-related fitness tests. Overweight and obesity prevalence was determined by the International Obesity Task Force, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization standard criteria.

RESULTS: International Obesity Task Force criteria indicate almost 12% (23/190) of boys and 22.5% (43/191) of girls were overweight or obese with 4.73% (9/190) of boys and 10.99% (21/191) of girls in the obese category. Significant correlations were found between modified pull-ups test and body mass, BMI, WC, WHR, WHtR, PBF in boys and modified pull-ups and modified sit-ups tests were significantly correlated with body mass, BMI, WC, WHR, WHtR, and PBF in girls. Compared to their counterparts, overweight and obese boys demonstrated inferior performance in modified pull-ups and predicted VO2max and overweight and obese girls demonstrated inferior performance in modified pull-ups, modified sit-ups, 4 m × 9 m agility shuttle run and predicted VO2max.

CONCLUSION: This study highlighted the relatively high prevalence of overweight and obesity in both genders of preschoolers and found that overweight and obesity were associated with poor fitness performances. The findings provided evidence to support the establishment of tailored physical fitness intervention programs to manage and prevent obesity in preschoolers.


Published by Journal of Research in Medical Sciences

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Journal of Research in Medical Science





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