Body mass index (BMI) dynamics in Vietnam.Eur J Clin Nutr 2008; 62(1):78-86EJ
To provide an overview of dynamic shifts in body mass index (BMI) and nutritional status patterns of the Vietnamese population from 1992 to 2002.
Nationally representative, cross-sectional surveys.
SETTING AND SUBJECTS
Secondary data obtained from The Living Standard Survey in 1992 (24 068 individuals) and the National Health Survey in 2002 (158 019 individuals).
Nutrition status was defined by comparing measured BMI, grouped for under- and overweight with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 BMI growth charts for the 2-17 year-olds and the World Health Organization 1995 cutoff points for the 18-65 year-olds.
Over the 1992 and 2002 period, minimal changes were observed in the prevalence of overweight (from 1.4% (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.0-1.8) to 1.8% (1.6-2.0)) and underweight (from 32.1% (30.4-33.7) to 33.5% (32.8-34.1)) among 2-17 year-olds. In contrast, among 18-65 year-olds, the prevalence of overweight and obesity increased (from 2.0% (1.5-2.4) to 5.2% (5.0-5.4)) and underweight declined (from 32.6% (31.2-33.9) to 24.8% (24.3-25.3)). Urban residents experienced larger reductions in underweight and increases in overweight than rural residents. Analyses of BMI levels for the 15th, 50th and 85th percentiles, by age, revealed a trend of increasing BMI that was higher among adults, females and urban residents.
Although underweight remains the main concern, overweight is an emerging problem in Vietnam. Early prevention is needed to prevent overweight from causing undesirable effects on health and economic in the transitional period.