Trends in Overweight and Obesity in Portugal: The National Health Surveys 1995–6 and 1998–9

Authors

  • Pedro Marques-Vidal,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro de Nutrição e Metabolismo, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
      Unidade de Nutrição e Metabolismo, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Professor Egas Moniz, 1649–028 Lisboa, Portugal. E-mail: mvidal@fm.ul.pt
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  • Carlos Matias Dias

    1. Centro de Epidemiologia e Bioestatística, Observatório Nacional de Saúde, Instituto Nacional de Saúde Ricardo Jorge, Lisboa, Portugal
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Unidade de Nutrição e Metabolismo, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Professor Egas Moniz, 1649–028 Lisboa, Portugal. E-mail: mvidal@fm.ul.pt

Abstract

Objective: To assess overweight and obesity trends in the Portuguese population.

Research Methods and Procedures: National Health Surveys, conducted in 1995–6 (17, 989 men; 20, 249 women) and 1998–9 (17, 923 men; 20, 302 women), were used.

Results: In men, the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased from 39.9% (95% CI: 39.2 to 40.6) and 10.3% (95% CI: 9.9 to 10.7), respectively, in 1995–6, to 42.5% (95% CI: 41.8 to 43.2) and 11.5% (95% CI: 11.0 to 12.0), respectively, in 1998–9. In women, prevalence of obesity increased from 12.7% (95% CI: 12.2 to 13.2) in 1995–6 to 14.2% (95% CI: 13.7 to 14.6) in 1998–9, whereas the prevalence of overweight remained stable: 32.2% (95% CI: 31.6 to 32.9) in 1995–6 and 32.3% (95% CI: 31.6 to 32.9) in 1998–9. In men, prevalence of overweight and obesity were higher among former smokers and educational group of 6 to 12 years, and prevalence of obesity was higher in the Lisbon region. In women, prevalence of overweight and obesity were higher among never smokers, and prevalence of obesity was higher among educational group of −6 years. Prevalence of obesity was higher in the Alentejo region, and overweight was higher in the Center region. Finally, prevalence of obesity increased in both sexes for all strata studied (age, smoking status, educational level, and geographic region), whereas prevalence of overweight increased only in men.

Discussion: In Portugal, overweight and obesity levels are related to sociodemographic factors; the increase in obesity levels stresses the need for preventive measures.

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