Prevalence and trends in overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in Denmark

Jeppe Matthiessen, Margit Velsing Groth, Sisse Fagt, Anja Pia Biltoft-Jensen, Anders Stockmarr, Jens Strodl Andersen, Ellen Trolle

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Aim: To study the current prevalence and trends in overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in Denmark from 1995 to 2000—2002. Methods: Cross-sectional national dietary surveys were conducted in 1995 and 2000—2002. The analysis was based on two random population samples from the Danish civil registration system. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from self-reported height and weight for 1,026 and 1,152 children and adolescents (4—18 years), who participated in 1995 and 2000—2002, respectively. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was defined according to the international age and gender-specific child BMI cut-off points. In the statistical analysis, overweight and obesity were included in the prevalence of overweight. Results: Mean BMI increased significantly between 1995 and 2000—2002 for all combinations of age groups (4—6, 7—10, 11—14 and 15—18 years) and genders. Prevalence of overweight increased between survey years for boys and girls for all age groups (4—6, 7—10, 11—14 and 15—18 years), although formal statistical significance was not reached (p>0.05). When all children and adolescents (4—18 years) were analysed, the prevalence of overweight rose significantly from 10.9% (95% confidence interval (CI) 9.0—12.8) to 14.4% (95% CI 12.5—16.3) between 1995 and 2000— 2002 (p=0.01), whereas the increase in the prevalence of obesity did not reach significance (1995, 2.3% (95% CI 1.3—3.3) vs. 2000—2002, 2.4% (95% CI 1.6—3.3); p=0.74). Conclusions: The present study revealed a significant increase from 1995 to 2000—2002 in mean BMI for boys and girls for all age groups and a significant increase in the prevalence of overweight when all Danish children and adolescents (4—18 years) were analysed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volume36
Pages (from-to)153-160
ISSN1403-4948
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • trend
  • obesity
  • children
  • Denmark
  • Body mass index

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