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Overweight, stunting, and concurrent overweight and stunting observed over 3 years in Vietnamese children.

Journal article
Authors Loan Minh Do
Henry Ascher
Lauren Lissner
Published in Global health action
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 1517932
ISSN 1654-9880
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 1517932
Language en
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology


Malnutrition, both stunting and overweight/obesity, present a public health concern in many countries in the world.This study aims to examine: (1) longitudinal changes in prevalence of overweight, stunting, and concurrent overweight and stunting among preschool children during 3 years and (2) secular changes in these prevalences of a specific age group of children aged 5.5-6.5 year over a period of 3 years.A cohort of 2,602 children initially aged 3-6 years old, 1,311 in an urban area and 1,291 in a rural area, was followed for 3 years. Of them, children aged 5.5-6.5 years old were identified to be included in three repeated cross-sectional surveys. The World Health Organization standard was used to classify children with overweight or stunting.Findings from the cohort study indicate that between 2013 and 2016, the estimated prevalence of overweight including obesity (OWOB) increased with age, particularly in the urban setting (14.2%-29.9% in boys and 9.0%-21.6% in girls). The estimated prevalence of stunting decreased from 8.2% to 3.4% in boys and 9.5% to 3.5% in girls with a considerably greater decrease among rural children. There was a similar pattern of an age-related decrease of concurrent OWOB and stunting from 2.4% in 2013 to 1.4% in 2016 in boys and from 2.9% to 1.3% in girls with significant decreases in rural children. Secular trends in the group of children 5.5 to 6.5 show the same pattern as the longitudinal results: decreasing prevalence of stunting as well as concurrent OWOB and stunting. OWOB prevalence increased significantly in urban girls and rural boys.The pattern of increasing overweight, decreasing stunting and concurrent overweight and stunting both with increasing age and over chronological time is observed among Vietnamese preschool children.

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