A new study indicates that for a 2.5 year period shortly before and during the early years of the Greek economic crisis, the prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased in Greek schoolchildren. This was accompanied by an increase in the prevalence of normal weight children and a slight increase in the prevalence of underweight children.
Because this study coincided with the eruption of the Greek economic crisis, it suggests that the changes may be related to the suboptimal conditions that a significant percentage of the Greek population lived in during that period.
Additional studies are needed to verify, or refute, the effect of the economic crisis on the weight status of Greek children.
“If our results are verified by other studies, they would suggest that economic crises have a rapid adverse effect in the weight of the most vulnerable population, i.e. the children,” said Dr. Anastasios Papadimitriou, senior author of the Acta Paediatrica study.
Study: Overweight and obesity decreased in Greek schoolchildren from 2009 to 2012 during the early phase of the economic crisis, Kleanthis Kleanthous, Eleni Dermitzaki, Dimitrios T. Papadimitriou, Vassiliki Papaevangelou and Anastasios Papadimitriou, Acta Paediatrica, doi: 10.1111/apa.13143, published online 17 August 2015.