Number of overweight school-aged children on rise in Lithuania: survey

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-05 23:33:31|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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VILNIUS, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- The number of overweight and obese school-age children is on the rise in Lithuania due to changing leisure and nutrition habits, local media reported on Sunday, citing a recent report released by the Institute of Hygiene of Lithuania.

According to the data by the institute, 21.6 percent of school-age children aged 7-17 were overweight in 2018, which is 1.6 percentage points more than two years earlier.

"Children spend more and more time indoors, they don't engage into outdoors activities and in daily physical activity," Kastytis Smigelskas, professor at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, was quoted as saying by local media.

In his words, fast food culture is particularly influential in changing eating habits.

According to the report, 66.4 percent of children were of normal weight in 2018, while 15.4 percent were overweight and 6.2 percent obese. The number of underweight children also increased to 12 percent in 2018, compared to 11.4 percent in 2016.

Schoolchildren's body mass index (BMI) estimates were calculated from BMI thresholds adjusted for the age and sex of the children, according to the evaluations of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF).

The Institute of Hygiene is a Lithuanian state institution under the Ministry of Health, which carries out state functions in the different public health areas such as providing health information, carrying out research on public health issues and on work-related factors.