Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the current world. Worldwide, its prevalence was about 340 million in 2016, including Africa. In the last 4 decades, rates have tripled all over the world, from 4% to 18%, with comparable gender distribution. Currently, obesity is considered a major contributor to disease-related morbidity and mortality more frequently than stunted growth. It has been incriminated in early onset respiratory problems, psychiatric troubles, cardiovascular disorders, hyperlipidemia, bony fractures, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and premature death (WHO 2018).
In the pediatric age group, the WHO and the American Academy of Pediatrics postulated the current definitions of overweight and obesity based upon the body mass index (BMI)-for-age. BMI is an easy noninvasive tool for large scale clinical screening. Still, BMI cannot distinguish between lean and fat mass, it relies on body weight regardless of body composition (Reilly et 2010). Generally accepted, the anthropometric measures were recommended as indirect indicators of body composition, and to evaluate adiposity in children as well as in adults (Sakuno et al 2014).
The underlying problem of obesity is an excessive fat collection, with the most predilection sites being under the skin in the subcutaneous tissues, and surrounding the internal organs, described as the visceral fat. Adipose tissue distribution together with increased visceral adiposity seems to be linked to complications of obesity (Sakuno et al 2014, Dong et al 2014). Yet, it is very crucial to determine the body content of fats in overweight and obese children. Suggested methods included waist circumference (WC) or imaging techniques such as ultrasonography, dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) (Schwenzer et 2009, Li et 2012).
The primary aim of the current work was to assess a group of overweight and obese children clinically, anthropometrically, and sonographically, to detect the most sensitive predictors for body fat content and obesity complications. Secondarily, to find the best cutoff values for measured sonographic parameters of subcutaneous fat (SCF) and visceral fat in overweight and obese children.
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