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Open AccessArticle

Prevalence of Underweight and Overweight and Its Association with Physical Fitness in Egyptian Schoolchildren

1
Faculty of Physical Education, Assiut University, Assiut 71515, Egypt
2
Institute of Sport Science, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, 39104 Magdeburg, Germany
3
High Institute of Sport and Physical Education, University of Sfax, Sfax 3000, Tunisia
4
Education, Motricité, Sport et Santé (EM2S), High Institute of Sport and Physical Education, University of Sfax, Sfax 3000, Tunisia
5
Activité Physique, Sport et Santé, UR18JS01, Observatoire National du Sport, Tunis 1003, Tunisia
6
Institute for Sport and Sports Sciences, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
7
Department of Sport Sciences, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin 34148-9681, Iran
8
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (LIAM), York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
9
Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), Postgraduate School of Public Health, University of Genoa, 16132 Genoa, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contribution.
Equal contribution.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010075
Received: 2 November 2019 / Revised: 15 December 2019 / Accepted: 17 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and Health)
Underweight and overweight are serious health concerns for many children and could be associated with low physical-fitness levels. This study aimed (i) to evaluate the prevalence of underweight and overweight and (ii) to examine its association with the physical fitness levels in primary male and female schoolchildren. Including 13 government primary-schools, a cross-sectional survey was conducted between 2014 and 2017. Anthropometric characteristics together with the physical-fitness level were measured in 931 schoolchildren aged between 6- and 11-years old. The prevalence of under- and overweight children were 8.49% and 24.06%, respectively. These proportions were not significantly different between males and females and were affected by age (p < 0.001), with a higher prevalence of overweight and a lower prevalence of underweight at 9–11 years, compared to 6–8 years old. Concerning the physical fitness levels, statistical analysis showed a better performance among males compared to females, among participants aged 9–11 years, compared to 6–8 years old, and among underweight and normal-weight, compared to overweight children (p < 0.001). There was a higher prevalence of overweight and lower prevalence of underweight at 9–11 years compared to 6–8 years old. Physical fitness levels were better in (i) males, compared to females, (ii) schoolchildren aged 9–11 years, compared to 6–8 years old, and (iii) underweight and normal-weight, compared to overweight children. View Full-Text
Keywords: BMI categories; physical fitness; schoolchildren; age; gender difference BMI categories; physical fitness; schoolchildren; age; gender difference
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Abdelkarim, O.; Ammar, A.; Trabelsi, K.; Cthourou, H.; Jekauc, D.; Irandoust, K.; Taheri, M.; Bös, K.; Woll, A.; Bragazzi, N.L.; Hoekelmann, A. Prevalence of Underweight and Overweight and Its Association with Physical Fitness in Egyptian Schoolchildren. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 75.

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