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Prevalence of overweight in Bolivia: data on women and adolescents


Dr F.J. Armando Pérez-Cueto, Postdoctoral Researcher, Ghent University, Department of Agricultural Economics, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent, Belgium. Email:


Secondary analysis of Bolivian Demographic and Health Surveys 1994, 1998 and 2003 revealed a steady raising trend in levels of overweight and obesity among women in childbearing age (20–45 years), reaching 30% and 15% respectively in 2003. Adolescents' cross-sectional data suggest that overweight and obesity are mainly found in urban areas. Applying the Bolivian body mass index-for-age reference, obesity reached 5% in adolescents, while overweight affects 14% of adolescents. This overview highlights the importance of including the prevention of weight gain among the public health nutrition policies in Bolivia.