To examine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in school-age children in Isparta Province, Turkiye, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and to compare the results with those of previous studies conducted in Isparta in 2005, 2009, and 2014.
The study was carried out in schools in the city center of Isparta in March 2022, during which the weight and height of students were measured using a scale and stadiometer, and the body mass indices (BMI), BMI percentiles, and z scores were calculated.
Of the 8871 students assessed, 4547 (51.3%) were female and the mean age of the sample was 11.92 ± 3.42 (6–18.93) years. The prevalence of overweight was 12%, the prevalence of obesity was 14.5%, and the prevalence of overweight + obesity was 26.5%. A comparison of the figures since 2005 revealed the prevalence of overweight to be stable, while the prevalence of obesity and the prevalence of overweight + obesity were found to have witnessed a increase (χ2: 57.01, P < 0.001). The prevalence of obesity was 13% among girls under 11 years of age and 14.3% among girls over 11 years of age; and 18.2% and 12.8% among boys under and over 11 years of age, respectively (χ2: 23.26, P < 0.001). The prevalence of obesity was significantly higher in boys under 11 years of age.
The prevalence of overweight + obesity was nearly stable in the 3 studies conducted over the 17-year period, but we witnessed an increase in our most recent study conducted during the pandemic. The prevalence of obesity is significantly higher in boys under 11 years of age.