Prevalence and trends in overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in Denmark.Scand J Public Health 2008; 36(2):153-60SJ
To study the current prevalence and trends in overweight and obesity among children and adolescents in Denmark from 1995 to 2000-2002.
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.
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).
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.