Trends in overweight and obesity in Swedish schoolchildren 1999–2005: has the epidemic reached a plateau?
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 11, Issue 8, pages 553–559, August 2010
How to Cite
Lissner, L., Sohlström, A., Sundblom, E. and Sjöberg, A. (2010), Trends in overweight and obesity in Swedish schoolchildren 1999–2005: has the epidemic reached a plateau? . Obesity Reviews, 11: 553–559. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2009.00696.x
- Issue published online: 14 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2009
- Received 28 July 2009; revised 29 September 2009; accepted 15 October 2009
The aim of this review is to synthesize published evidence on the most recent trends in overweight and obesity among Swedish children. Specifically, trends are reported among fourth graders (10–11 years) from six different municipalities between 1999 and 2005. Weights and heights in representative samples of children within each area were measured by school nurses as part of routine school health examinations. Standardized definitions of overweight, obesity and thinness were calculated by methods described by Cole et al. in 2000 and 2007. In Stockholm, obesity prevalence during academic years starting 1999 and 2003 decreased non-significantly from 4.4% to 2.8% in girls, and increased non-significantly from 3.2% to 3.8% among boys. In Gothenburg, comparing academic years starting 2000 and 2004, prevalence of overweight in girls decreased from 19.6% to 15.9% (P < 0.01) while thinness increased from 9.5% to 11.9% (P < 0.05); no significant changes were observed in boys. Finally, the Swedish National Institute of Public Health released figures from Karlstad, Umeå, Västerås and Ystad in 2003–2005 during which time no trends in prevalence could be clearly shown. The stabilized rates are probably a result of regional and local actions that have taken place in many sectors of society, rather than one specific measure or national political action.