Epidemiological Survey for the Prevalence of Overweight and Abdominal Obesity in Greek Adolescents


  • The first two authors contributed equally to this work.



This study was designed to provide estimates of overweight (OW), obesity (OB), and abdominal OB (AO) in a representative sample of adolescents throughout the whole of Greece. A total of 14,456 adolescents aged 13–19 years (6,677 boys and 7,779 girls) had direct measurements (height, weight, waist circumference (WC)) taken at school during 2003. The overall prevalence of OW including OB in the population studied was 29.4% in boys and 16.7% in girls. OB prevalence was also higher in boys than in girls (6.1% vs. 2.7%), whereas prevalence of AO was higher in girls than in boys (21.7% vs. 13.5%). Rates of OW, OB, and AO were significantly more prevalent in the Greek than in the foreign male population (immigrants). OW% in adolescent girls was independently associated with smoking and alcohol consumption. The prevalence of OW and OB in Greek adolescents is high, particularly in boys, comparable with that reported for most Mediterranean European countries. AO, mainly in adolescent girls, also appears high. Preventive and treatment strategies are urgently needed to combat this OB epidemic in Greece.