Overweight dynamics in Chinese children and adults
Article first published online: 17 DEC 2013
© 2014 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Special Issue: Understanding the Transition in Diet, Activity, Body Composition and Nutrition-related Noncommunicable Diseases in China: the China Health and Nutrition Survey 1991-2011. Guest Editor: Barry M. Popkin. The International Association for the Study of Obesity and Wiley have published this supplement without any financial support.
Volume 15, Issue Supplement S1, pages 37–48, January 2014
How to Cite
Gordon-Larsen, P., Wang, H. and Popkin, B. M. (2014), Overweight dynamics in Chinese children and adults. Obesity Reviews, 15: 37–48. doi: 10.1111/obr.12121
- Issue published online: 17 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 17 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Received: 19 SEP 2013
- The National Institutes of Health (NIH): NHLBI. Grant Number: R01-HL108427
- National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety
- China Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- NIH. Grant Numbers: R01-HD30880, DK056350, R24 HD050924, R01-HD38700
- Fogarty International Center, NIH
China has experienced a transition from a history of undernutrition to a rapid increase in obesity. The China Health and Nutrition Survey, an ongoing longitudinal, household-based survey of urban and rural residents of nine provinces, documents these changes using measured height and weight across 53,298 observations from 18,059 participants collected from 1991 to 2011. Adult overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m2) prevalence nearly tripled from 1991 (11.7%) to 2009 (29.2%), with significant cohort and age-related effects (stronger in males). Among youth, quantile regression reveals changes across the BMI distribution. By 2009, approximately 12% of children and adolescents were overweight, and 3% of 7–11–year-olds and 1% of 12–17-year-olds were obese (International Obesity Taskforce BMI 25 and 30 kg/m2 equivalents, respectively). In 1991–2000, urbanicity was strongly and positively associated with BMI, but in 2000–2011, trends were similar across rural and urban areas. Among women, the burden has shifted to lower educated women (the reverse is true for males, as overweight was higher in men of higher education). Our findings highlight the importance of preventive measures early in the life cycle to reduce weight gain.