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Prevalence of pre-school children for overweight/obesity in Turkey
Authors: Fatih Santas, and Gulcan Santas
Source: World Journal of Pediatrics, 14(1): 77; DOI:
Topic(s): Child health
Wealth Index
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2018
Abstract: Background Most of the studies and interventions are targeted to address undernutrition, but childhood obesity has become a silent killer among children. Developing countries, including Turkey, could recognize the importance of the issue now and have begun to discuss the necessity of studies on this subject. Therefore, this study aims to examine the prevalence of obesity among pre-school children in Turkey. Methods The data source of this study is the Turkey Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS)-2013. The TDHS-2013 was a sample study to gather information about the fertility levels and changes in them, infant and child mortality, family planning, and maternal and infant health at the national level. Results Overweight/obesity for height was 8.6% and 6.6% for age. Overweight/obesity problems are mostly observed in the West and are higher in urban areas. Overweight/obesity decreases with increasing age. There is a positive correlation between overweight/obesity and maternal educational level. As the household welfare level increases, overweight/obesity increases in pre-school children. Female children are at higher risk of overweight/obesity than males. As birth order increases, overweight/obesity decreases. Children living in other regions have overweight/obesity problems more than the pre-school children living in the East. Conclusions This study speculates that obesity appears to be a major problem among pre-school children in Turkey. Based on the findings, the current situation of overweight/obesity among pre-school children is so close to many developing and developed countries, whose obesity levels are a greater concern. This finding demonstrates that effective interventions of obesity should begin as early as infancy in Turkey, as it is a developing country. Keywords Child overweight/obesity Prevalence Turkey Demographic and Health Survey Wealth index