IJERPH, Vol. 20, Pages 2443: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Assess Dental Caries, Overweight and Obesity in Schoolchildren in the City of Alfenas, Brazil (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Childhood-related obesity and overweight are increasing concerns for the health and well-being of children. Dental caries (decay) is the most prevalent oral disease during childhood, and several studies have suggested that nutritional status and dental caries are associated in children. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the geographic distribution of childhood overweight/obesity and dental caries in a medium-sized Brazilian city. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 269 children of both genders enrolled in four public schools in the city of Alfenas. The children were clinically examined to assess cavitated dental caries and nutritional status (overweight and obesity). In addition, the GIS was used for the geospatial clustering analyses. A heat map was created by the Kemel method to estimate the concentration of the outcomes. The cavitated dental caries and overweight/obesity were also pointed out by dots on the map. However, of the 269 children, 118 were boys (43.87%) and 151 were girls (56.13%). One hundred fifty-seven children (58.4%) were classified as having “non-cavitated caries,” while 112 (41.6%) were classified as having “cavitied caries.” In the nutritional status assessment, 204 children (75.84%) were classified as “eutrophic,” while 65 children (24.16%) were classified as “overweight/obesity,” A geographical correlation of dental caries with overweight/obesity may exist in the northeast and southwest areas. In conclusion, a geographical concordance between the dental caries and the occurrence of overweight/obesity among the schoolchildren from Alfenas may exist in some areas. Future studies are necessary.