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Keywords:

  • Adolescent;
  • Body mass index;
  • Child;
  • Obesity;
  • Overweight

Abstract

Aim:  The purpose of this study is to monitor the prevalence trend in overweight and obesity among Copenhagen schoolchildren from the school years 2002 to 2007.

Methods:  Copenhagen community health service doctors conducted routine examinations at school entry (ages 5–8 years) and exit (ages 14–16 years). Body mass index (kg/m2) of 33 245 schoolchildren was calculated. The prevalence of overweight (including obesity) and obesity was classified using the International Obesity Task Force definitions.

Results:  From 2002 to 2007, although the prevalence of overweight (including obesity) in young girls decreased from 17.8 to 15.9%, the trend was non-significant. In young boys, the trend slightly decreased, and the prevalence fell from 14.0 to 11.6%. In adolescent girls, the prevalence varied considerably and increased from 22.7 to 25.4% without a discernable trend. In adolescent boys, the trend slightly increased, and the prevalence rose from 15.8 to 18.9%. There were no significant changes in the prevalence of obesity.

Conclusion:  In contrast to the preceding decades, we identified a potential stagnation in the obesity epidemic among children but a continuing increase among adolescents. It remains critical to continue monitoring and to increase preventive measures to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity.