Nutritional status of children and adolescents in three Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and Metohija

Valentina Fabiano, Lucia Barcellini, Marco Ugo Andrea Sartorio, Erica Pendezza, Alessandro Leone, Fabio Meneghin, Dario Dilillo, Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti
2021 BMC Public Health  
To evaluate nutritional status of children and adolescents living in three Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and Metohija. We conducted an observational cross-sectional, population-based study, enrolling children and adolescents who underwent a pediatric screening performed in the three Serbian enclaves of Gračanica, Gornje Kusce and Velika Hoča in Kosovo and Metohija. Children and adolescents (5-19 years) of all ethnic groups were evaluated in one of the three free outpatient medical facilities in
more » ... al villages in Kosovo. Body weight and height were measured, height-for-age z- scores (HAZ) and BMI-for-age z-scores (BAZ) indicators were analyzed. The anthropometric indicators HAZ and BAZ distributions were compared between sex and ages using Fisher's exact test. A two-sample Z-test for proportions was used to detect differences in individual categories of height- and BMI-for-age categories across sexes and age classes. Three hundred twenty-eight children and adolescents (184 females, 56.1% and 144 males, 43.9%) aged between 5 and 19 years were enrolled in the study. 241/328 participants showed a normal linear growth; with significantly more girls (78.3%) than boys (67.4%) being in the normal category. Similarly, a significant difference in BAZ distribution between sexes was noted, with more females being in the normal BMI category compared to males (63.0% vs 50.0%, respectively). Underweight and severe underweight subjects showed a prevalence of 1.5 and 0.6%, respectively. Overweight and obesity prevalence was 19.5 and 9.1%, respectively, which was comparable to World Health Organization overweight and obesity prevalence data for Serbia. Prevalence of undernutrition and severe undernutrition in children and adolescents living in three Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and Metohija is small. By contrast, a tendency to an increase in overweight and obesity, especially in the male population, was noted.
doi:10.1186/s12889-021-10848-z pmid:33894743 fatcat:mnylhvujqfgr5jiobvssmhx344