Overweight more prevalent among children than among adolescents
Article first published online: 22 MAR 2007
©2007 The Author(s)/Journal Compilation © 2007 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica/Acta Pædiatrica
Volume 96, Issue 4, pages 577–581, April 2007
How to Cite
Holmbäck, U., Fridman, J., Gustafsson, J., Proos, L., Sundelin, C. and Forslund, A. (2007), Overweight more prevalent among children than among adolescents. Acta Paediatrica, 96: 577–581. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2006.00189.x
- Issue published online: 22 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 22 MAR 2007
- Received 18 July 2006; revised 3 November 2006; accepted 20 December 2006.
- Body mass index;
Aims: To study if there is a change in paediatric overweight/obesity prevalence from 1982 to 2002 in a population with a high proportion of post-graduate education.
Design: Two samples of children in Uppsala County, Sweden, were compared: children who were 4, 10 and 16 year old in 1982; or 4, 10 and 16 year old in 2002. Mean BMI (in the lowest 10%, middle 50% and highest 10%) and ISO-BMI (‘age adjusted BMI’) cut-off values were calculated in each age and gender group.
Results: Using the mean BMI or ISO-BMI cut-off values, the BMI-distribution shifted from 1982 to 2002. More 4- and 10-year-old girls and boys were overweight/obese, although this shift was larger in girls. No shift was seen in the 16-year-olds, only the middle 50% group in the 16-year-old girls had a slight increase of their mean BMI. In the 2002 4-year-old, and both 10-year-old samples, a higher proportion of the girls were overweight/obese compared to the boys, but no difference was seen in the 16-year-old sample.
Conclusion: Young children, especially girls, have become much more overweight/obese during the past 20 years, despite a high proportion of post-graduate education in the population. The lack of major change in 16-year-olds may suggest a rather recent change in the children's environment/lifestyle.