21 Feb 2005

American Samoa health study finds many children with dietary and obesity problems

11:28 am on 21 February 2005

A health study conducted on 420 American Samoa children has found that more than fifty per cent of five to ten year olds, have high cholesterol and other blood lipid levels, and could suffer heart diseases if they continue to eat unhealthy foods.

The study, funded by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, found that 28 percent of the children were considered overweight and 14 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight.

Anemia, caused by a lack of iron in the blood, was also found in 35 percent of children aged one to five and 17 percent of those aged five to ten.

Thirty-three percent of the children were reported to drink soda, eat cake or sweets once or more times per day, and 36 percent eat chips or salty snacks once or more often per day.

The study also found that fewer than 23 percent of the children ate fruits and vegetables once a day.