Prevalence and trends in overweight and obesity in three cross sectional studies of British children, 1974-94

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Abstract

Objectives To report trends in overweight and obesity, defined by new internationally agreed cut-off points, in children in the United Kingdom. Design Three independent cross sectional surveys. Setting Primary schools in England and Scotland. Participants 10 414 boys and 9737 girls in England and 5385 boys and 5219 girls in Scotland aged 4 to 11 years. Main outcome measures Prevalence and change in prevalence of overweight and obesity as defined by the international obesity; task force, in 1974, 1984, and 1994, for each ses and country. Results Little change was found in the prevalence of overweight or obesity from 1974 to 1984. From 1984 lo 1994 overweight increased from 5.4% to 9.0% in English boys (increase 3.6%, 95% confidence interval 2.3% to 5.0%) and from 6.4% to 10.0% in Scottish boys (3.6%, 1.9% to 5.4%). Values for girls were 9.3% to 13.5% (4.1%, 2.4% to 5.9%) and 10.4% to 15.8% (5.4%, 3.2% to 7.6%) respectively. The prevalence of obesity increased correspondingly, reaching 1.7% (English boys), 2.1% (Scottish boys) 2.6% (English girls), and 3.2% (Scottish girls). Conclusion These results form a base from which trends can be monitored. The rising trends are likely; to be reflected in increases in adult obesity and associated morbidity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24 - 26
Number of pages3
JournalBMJ, British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.)
Volume322
Issue number7277
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2001

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