The Fallacy of the Fat Anemic Child

Carlos Alberto Nogueira-de-Almeida,

Published on: 2020-11-28


Background: Studies suggest the presence of iron deficiency among obese children, which would lead to a higher incidence of anemia in this group.
Aim: To assess the prevalence of anemia among overweight and obese children from two socioeconomic levels and two different regions in Brazil.
Methods: Hemoglobin and anthropometric data on 598 overweight and obese children and adolescents were obtained from two services specialized in the care of these children.
Results: The overall prevalence of anemia was 5.8% and mean hemoglobin level was 13.2 mg/dL, with no statistical difference for the two indicators according to overweight or obesity and age group. However, the mean hemoglobin was higher among boys and, in the service with care provided to a population of lower socioeconomic status, the prevalence of anemia was higher.
Conclusion: The prevalence of anemia found among overweight and obese children and adolescents was quite low, being higher in the poorest population. For overweight children and adolescents, anemia seems to be more related to socioeconomic status than to the presence of excess weight.

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