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Social background weighs on kids

There is a direct correlation between age, ethnic and social background and whether a Swiss child is overweight or obese, a study has found.

This content was published on August 23, 2010 - 13:37
swissinfo.ch

Health Promotion Switzerland, a foundation, said that the problem is greater in cities like Zurich, Basel and Geneva than in towns and villages across the countryside.

The foundation, supported by Swiss cantons and health insurance companies, monitored the BMI (measure of body fat based on height and weight) of 25,000 school children during the 2008/2009 school year.

The schools included in the studies were located in Bern, Fribourg and Zurich as well as in cantons Basel City, Geneva, Graubünden, Jura and Valais.

While overweight children are more likely to have poorly educated parents or a mother and father with low-paying jobs, there is little if any difference between boys and girls.

The foundation said about every fifth child is overweight, and every 25th one is obese. These figures have not changed over the past few years.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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