Body mass index, waist circumference and skin-fold thickness in 12- to 14-year-old Dutch adolescents: differences between 2003 and 2011

Authors

  • F. van Nassau,

    1. EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • A. S. Singh,

    1. EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • W. van Mechelen,

    1. EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • J. Brug,

    1. EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • M. J. M. Chinapaw

    Corresponding author
    1. EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research and the Department of Public and Occupational Health, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    • Address for correspondence: Prof. dr. Mai J.M. Chinapaw, VU University Medical Center, Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, Van der Boechorststraat 7, Amsterdam 1081 BT, The Netherlands. E-mail: m.chinapaw@vumc.nl

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Summary

Objectives

The aim of this study was to compare anthropometrics of 12- to 14-year-old Dutch adolescents attending lower levels of education in 2011 with adolescents measured in 2003.

Methods

We used baseline data from two trials evaluating a school-based obesity prevention programme in 2003 (randomized controlled trial with 18 schools) and in 2011 (cluster controlled trial with 29 schools). We measured adolescents' body height and weight, skin-fold thickness, and waist circumference in 2003 (n = 1000; response rate 76%) and 2011 (n = 1898; response rate 86%). We used multivariable multilevel linear or logistic regression analyses stratifying for gender, ethnicity and prevocational education track (vocational or theoretical) where appropriate.

Results

In boys, prevalence of overweight, waist circumference, triceps, biceps and subscapular skin-folds were significantly higher in 2011. This was also true for vocational girls, except for the subscapular skin-fold. Girls, attending the theoretical track, had a significantly larger waist circumference, but thinner subscapular and suprailiac skin-fold thickness in 2011.

Conclusions

The increased prevalence of overweight and obesity in Dutch adolescents attending prevocational education is worrisome.

Trial registration number

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN87127361 and Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN92755979.

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