, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 615–622 | Cite as

Prevalence of overweight and obesity in preschool children in Thessaloniki, Greece

  • Maria Hassapidou
  • Efstratia Daskalou
  • Fotini Tsofliou
  • Konstantinos Tziomalos
  • Anastasia Paschaleri
  • Ioannis Pagkalos
  • Themistoklis Tzotzas
Research paper


OBJECTIVE: Data on obesity in preschoolers are scarce in Greece, a country particularly affected by the obesity epidemic. The present study aimed to assess overweight and obesity prevalence of preschoolers in Thessaloniki, Greece, by using three different standards for defining childhood overweight and obesity. DESIGN: One thousand two hundred and fifty (1250) preschool children (657 boys and 593 girls) aged 2.0–6.0 years old from all public municipality kindergartens of Thessaloniki, Greece, participated in this cross-sectional survey conducted from 2009 to 2010. Body weight and height were measured and detailed anthropometry measurement was undertaken. BMI was classified to weight categories based on the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), IOTF (the International Obesity Task Force) and WHO (the World Health Organization) references. RESULTS: Rates of excess body weight varied significantly according to the different international criteria: IOTF: overweight (including obesity) 21.2%, obesity 5.8%; CDC: overweight (including obesity) 30.5%, obesity 13.5%; and WHO: overweight (including obesity) 32.6%, obesity 5%. Boys and older children were particularly affected. CONCLUSIONS: Overweight prevalence is high in Greek preschoolers and varies significantly according to the different criteria used, from 21.2% (IOTF reference) to 32.6% (CDC reference).

Key words

Anthropometry BMI Greek preschoolers International reference Obesity 


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Hassapidou
    • 1
  • Efstratia Daskalou
    • 1
  • Fotini Tsofliou
    • 2
  • Konstantinos Tziomalos
    • 3
  • Anastasia Paschaleri
    • 1
  • Ioannis Pagkalos
    • 4
  • Themistoklis Tzotzas
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition & DieteticsAlexander Technological Educational Institute of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Faculty of Health & Social SciencesBournemouth UniversityBournemouthUK
  3. 3.First Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, Medical SchoolAristotle University of Thessaloniki, AHEPA HospitalThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  5. 5.Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism“Agios Pavlos” HospitalThessalonikiGreece

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