Mrs. Zhanar Tolysbayeva is a PhD in medicine (hygiene). Her PhD thesis was devoted mass prevention of iodine deficiency among children living in iodine deficiency areas. Mrs. Tolysbayeva has worked at the Kazakh Academy of Nutrition as a senior researcher for a number of years, and has carried out investigations of food and behavioral factors contributing to childhood obesity, as part of a program of prevention of pediatric obesity in school-age children in Kazakhstan. Mrs. Tolysbayeva’s interests cover popularization of healthy nutrition and elaboration of effective strategies for the promotion of healthy nutrition choices.
Obesity is the greatest concern among all risk factors of chronic noncommunicable diseases. Kazakhstan also does not lag behind world trends. Thus, amount of children up to 5 years of age with overweight and obesity increased from 9% to 13,4% since 1995. The role of parents in maintaining children’s weight in norm is extremely important. We investigated awareness and attitudes regarding childhood obesity and nutrition of parents of children aged 9-10 years with normal weight (80 respondents) and obesity (80 respondents). Children’s weight status was determined in accordance with BMI-for-age standards of WHO: 97 and higher percentiles is considered as obesity, from 5 below 85 as normal weight. The majority of parents of children with obesity (74%) understood that their child had excess weight, however 20% of them believed that their child’s body weight is normal. 32.9% of parents of children with normal weight suspected their child was overweight. Parents of children with normal weight were more critical about the weight of their children and also paid more attention to the qualitative composition of food. Quantity of parents of children with normal weight who indicated health complications of obesity as a main reason for weight normalization in case of obesity was greater than number of the parents of children with obesity. The level of parents’ awareness about risks of chronic noncommunicable diseases related to obesity didn’t differ between two groups of parents.
Mrs. Gaukhar Datkhabayeva is a PhD in human physiology. Her PhD thesis was devoted to EEG-investigation of functional brain state self-regulation. Mrs. Datkhabayeva has worked at the Kazakh Academy of Nutrition as a senior researcher for a number of years, and has carried out investigations of food and behavioral factors contributing to childhood obesity, as well as the influence of obesity on children’s cognitive functions, as part of a program of prevention of pediatric obesity in school-age children in Kazakhstan. Mrs. Datkhabayeva’s interests cover popularization of healthy nutrition and elaboration of effective strategies for the promotion of healthy nutrition choices.
Asymmetry of spectral power (SP) of frontal EEG α-activity (FAA=(SP(F4)-SP(F3)/(SP(F4)+SP(F3)) is a marker of an individual’s emotional background, and of his/her reward (RS) and punishment sensitivity (PS) in motivational processes. A positive FAA value (FAA>0) points at greater left-hemispheric frontal cortex activity in relation to the right-brain and speaks of a positive emotional background of the individual, his/her RS and tendency toward goal approach behavior. Greater activity of the right-brain frontal cortex is associated with vulnerability to depression and anxiety, and a PS as well as avoidance behavior. Healthy RS subjects have enhanced mental flexibility (MF). On the other hand, it is assumed that FAA points at the motivational orientation of behavior (approach vs. withdrawal) irrespectively to associated emotions. To explore interrelationships amongst anthropometric markers of obesity, school anxiety (SA), school performance (SP), MF, emotional eating (EE), and FAA, girls aged 9-10 without psycho-neurological diagnoses were studied: 27 with obesity and 23 with normal weight. The obese girls had lower scours for SP. Positive link between the waist-to-hip ratio and SA was established. No links were found among FAA, SA and BMI. However, a split correlation analysis revealed, that in the lean girls, the BMI is inversely related with FAA (p=0.06), and FAA has a negative correlation with SA and EE. In the obese girls, to the contrary, BMI positive liked to FAA, while FAA had an inverse correlation with MF, which perhaps speaks of RS in obese girls, and of their reduced ability to inhibit desirable but risky behavior like over-eating.