More than 25% of Portuguese children are overweight

More than a quarter of school-age Portuguese children are overweight, 12.6% of this number being classified as ‘obese’.

These are what Público terms “some of the conclusions” of a study led by APCOI (the Portuguese association against child obesity) which interviewed 1768 children in 18 districts, including Madeira and Azores.

Intriguingly, the most overweight youngsters were identified in the archipelagos: 36.6% in Azores, 36.4% in Madeira, while the least heavyweight are school children in the Algarve (23.4%).

Madeira also has the highest number of children classified as obese – 18.4%.

The good news of this study is that it was taken over a period of three months, during which the children embarked on a programme entitled “Fruit Heroes – Healthy School Snacks”.

At the end of the 12 weeks, child obesity levels had dropped from the 12.6% average to 11.3%.

But as to the “more than a quarter” in percentage terms, the 28.6% of children who are considered overweight is still “worrying”, say the experts.