Dr. Hira Sial, Dr. Rabiya Razzaq, Dr. Maryam Mubeen
Introduction: The rising number of overweight and obese children and adolescents has been well documented in many developed countries. Several studies have provided robust evidence that being overweight in childhood increases the risk of atherosclerosis, a risk that continues in to adulthood. Aims and objectives: The basic aim of the study is to analyze the increase in childhood obesity due to high rates of under nutrition in Pakistan. Material and methods: This study was conducted at Faisalabad Medical University in 2019 to 2020. The data was collected from local population of Pakistan. Data on demographic, lifestyle, socioeconomic and health-related variables were collected using a questionnaire validated in local languages. Physicians at mobile examination centres performed a standardized physical examination. Mothers were proxy respondents for children aged under 12 years. Trained technicians performed anthropometric examinations. Results: About 27.9% (95% CI) (26–30%) of children were underweight: 29% boys versus 27% girls (p = 0.39), and 14.6% (13–16%) were stunted: 15.5% boys versus 13.8% girls (p = 0.36). The pattern with age was similar to that seen in the NHSP, remaining fairly stable until the age of 11–12 years (prevalence of 16%) and then decreasing with a prevalence of underweight and stunted children among those aged 13–14 years, respectively (prevalence of 9%). Conclusion: It is concluded that the rapidly rising burden of obesity with persistent levels of under nutrition among children is a unique and complex challenge and represents a major threat to the healthcare services. Thus, there is a clear need to focus health policies on combating this rising epidemic of energy imbalance, which is shifting the pendulum towards overweight and obese children in Indo-Asian countries, while paying attention to the needs of the ones who are still undernourished.