Prevalence of overweight among children in Europe


Dr T Lobstein, International Obesity TaskForce, 231 North Gower Street, London NW1 2NS, UK. E-mail:


Estimates of the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity have been made in several European countries during the last decade. The methods used and the assessment criteria differ from survey to survey. The present paper reports the prevalence data from 21 surveys in Europe using a single, internationally accepted definition of overweight in childhood, allowing direct comparisons to be made. A tendency for a higher prevalence of overweight among children in western and especially southern Europe is shown and some possible reasons for this are discussed.