Publish in this journal
Journal Information
Vol. 82. Issue 5.
Pages 363-365 (01 May 2015)
Vol. 82. Issue 5.
Pages 363-365 (01 May 2015)
Scientific Letter
DOI: 10.1016/j.anpede.2014.10.009
Full text access
Obesity in Oviedo: Prevalence and time trends from 1992 to 2012
Obesidad en Oviedo: prevalencia y tendencias temporales de 1992 a 2012
Visits
1186
R. Llada Suáreza,
Corresponding author
lladarubn@gmail.com

Corresponding author.
, L. del Fresno Marquésb, J.J. Díaz Martínc, S. Málaga Guerrerod, C. Rey Galáne
a Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Principado de Asturias, Spain
b Atención Primaria, Servicio de Salud del Principado de Asturias (SESPA), Oviedo, Principado de Asturias, Spain
c Sección de Gastroenterología y Nutrición, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA), Oviedo, Principado de Asturias, Spain
d Sección de Nefrología Pediátrica, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA), Oviedo, Principado de Asturias, Spain
e Sección de Cuidados Intensivos Pediátricos, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias (HUCA), Oviedo, Principado de Asturias, Spain
This item has received
1186
Visits
Article information
Full Text
Bibliography
Download PDF
Statistics
Tables (2)
Table 1. Descriptive statistics of the 3 cross-sectional studies done in 1992, 2004–2006 and 2012.
Table 2. Prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in Oviedo in years 1992, 2004–2006 and 2012.
Show moreShow less
Full Text
Dear Editor,

Spain has one of the highest prevalences of childhood overweight and obesity in Europe. The frequency of excess weight has increased considerably between 1985 and 2000, although it seems to have stabilised in the past 10 years.1

In order to fight this emerging epidemic, we need to monitor the secular trends of obesity by means of population studies or surveys. This surveillance must be done in reference to standardised consensus definitions of terms such as obesity, overweight and normal weight specific for age and sex.2

We analysed the trends in overweight and obesity in children 5–14 years of age over three sequential time intervals corresponding to years 1992, 2004–2006 and 2012.

We performed a cross-sectional observational study, requesting the participation of all the students enrolled in 3 elementary and 2 secondary schools in Oviedo.

Weight was measured to the nearest 100g using a mechanical scale. Height was measured with a Leicester® stadiometer to the nearest 0.1cm. We based our definitions of overweight and obesity on mean percentiles calculated according to the sex- and age-specific BMI criteria of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF).

We measured 734 children in 1992, 735 between 2004 and 2006, and 709 in 2012, out of a total of 1100. The final sample consisted of 2178 individuals. We did not find differences in the distribution by age or by sex (Table 1).

Table 1.

Descriptive statistics of the 3 cross-sectional studies done in 1992, 2004–2006 and 2012.

Cohort (year)  Statistics
  Age (years) ANOVA P>.05  BMIANOVA P>.001  Height (cm) ANOVA P>.493  Weight (kg)ANOVA P>.011 
1992 cohort
Mean  10.13  18.8  139.82  37.76 
SD  2.30  2.8  14.21  11.53 
2004–2006 cohort
Mean  10.13  19.3  140.4  39.08 
SD  2.15  3.24  13.6  12.54 
2012 cohort
Mean  10.15  18.2  140.73  37.18 
SD  2.61  2.9  15.8  12.6 

BMI, body mass index; SD, standard deviation.

The overall prevalence of obesity was significantly higher in the 2004–2006 period compared to 1992 (8.4% vs 4.9%; P=.01). However, there was a decrease in the overall prevalence of obesity between the 2004–2006 period and 2012 (8.4 vs 5.1%; P=.01).

We found statistically significant differences between cohorts in the overall prevalence of overweight. We observed a decline of 8.2% between the 2004–2006 period and 2012 (25.9% vs 17.7%; P=.0001), and a decline of 6.9% between 1992 and 2012 (24.6% vs 17.7%; P=.004), respectively (Table 2).

Table 2.

Prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in Oviedo in years 1992, 2004–2006 and 2012.

Cohort  No. of participants  Percentage 
1992
Normal range  518  70.5% 
Overweight/obese  217  29.5% 
Overweight  181  24.6% 
Obese  36  4.9% 
2004–2006
Normal range  482  65.7% 
Overweight/obese  252  34.3% 
Overweight  192  25.9% 
Obese  62  8.4% 
2012
Normal range  547  77.1% 
Overweight/obese  162  22.8% 
Overweight  126  17.7% 
Obese  36  5.1% 

We grouped participants in two categories according to the age of onset of puberty: children (<11 years) and adolescents (>11 years). In children, the prevalence of obesity was significantly lower in the 2012 cohort (8.8% in 2004–2006 vs 4.1% in 2012; P=.021), while no significant differences were observed between adolescent cohorts.

When we stratified the data by sex, the prevalence of obesity decreased significantly from 9.6% in the 2004–2006 period to 5.4% in 2012 in boys, but not in girls (7.1% vs 4.6%, P=.17), in whom the difference was not statistically significant. In the 2012 cohort, the prevalence of obesity was significantly higher in boys, especially in the preadolescent age group, than in girls.

The prevalence of childhood overweight has increased in nearly every country for which data are available. A systematic review published in 2006 on the secular trends of childhood obesity concluded that its prevalence had increased in the past 2 or 3 decades in nearly every developed country, especially in urban areas.3

We described an increase in children's weight between 1992 and 2006,4 but to our knowledge the decreasing trends observed in our study have not been described before in Spain. The prevalence of childhood obesity in Oviedo has decreased considerably in the past 7 years, showing a clear trend towards a sharper decline in males in older age groups. In any case, generalising the findings of our study may not be possible, as our sample came from a middle-class population from a specific geographical area.

Similar trends have been observed in the United States, where the increase in the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has been documented extensively since the 1960s.5

We do not know what has caused this marked change in trend.

Since 2009, efforts had been made to educate children on healthier alternatives, introducing better-quality foods in the lunchroom menus and vending machines of Oviedo schools, and expanding school sports and physical activity programmes to weekends and summers.

In recent years, the recommendations of the WHO and UNICEF on the optimal duration of breastfeeding that call for delaying the introduction of solids until 6 months of age, maintaining exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age and continued breastfeeding until 2 years of age or more, may be contributing to the decline in the prevalence of childhood obesity.

Although obesity has become a world epidemic, our understanding of this condition in childhood is limited by a lack of representative data from different countries for their comparison, as well as by the different criteria used to define it.

The IOTF has developed charts for an international growth standard that allows the comparison of prevalences across the world. There is evidence that the IOTF classification has a high specificity but a low sensitivity, although many countries continue using their own national charts, including Spain and the United States, where the standards in use were developed from data acquired in nationwide surveys.

At present we do not have a general consensus standard to classify overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. The use of universal criteria for classifying obesity could help make international comparisons.

Acknowledgments

We want to thank Dr Juan José Díaz Martín for giving us access to the data of years 1992 and 2004–2006, and for supervising our study.

References
[1]
J.J. Sánchez-Cruz, J.J. Jiménez-Moleón, F. Fernández-Quesada, M.J. Sánchez.
Prevalence of child and youth obesity in Spain in 2012.
Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed), 66 (2012), pp. 371-376
[2]
T. Lobstein, M. Frelut.
Prevalence of overweight among children in Europe.
Obes Rev, 4 (2003), pp. 195-200
[3]
Y. Wang, T. Lobstein.
Worldwide trends in childhood overweight and obesity.
Int J Pediatr Obes, 1 (2006), pp. 11-25
[4]
J.J. Díaz Martín, L. Somalo Hernández, M. García González, C. Méndez, C. Rey-Galán, S. Málaga-Guerrero.
Trends in childhood and adolescent obesity prevalence in Oviedo (Asturias, Spain) 1992–2006.
Acta Paediatr, 97 (2008), pp. 955-958
[5]
J.M. Robbins, G. Mallya, M. Polansky, D.F. Schwarz.
Prevalence disparities, and trends in obesity and severe obesity among students in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania, school district, 2006–10.
Prev Chronic Dis, 9 (2012), pp. E145

Please cite this article as: Llada Suárez R, del Fresno Marqués L, Díaz Martín JJ, Málaga Guerrero S, Rey Galán C. Obesidad en Oviedo: prevalencia y tendencias temporales de 1992 a 2012. An Pediatr (Barc). 2015;82:363–365.

Previous presentations: Oral presentations at the SCCALP Spring Meeting, April 12–13, 2013; Palencia, Spain; as well as the XX Congress of the SEGHPN; May 23–25, 2013; Málaga, Spain.

Copyright © 2014. Asociación Española de Pediatría
Idiomas
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Article options
Tools
es en

¿Es usted profesional sanitario apto para prescribir o dispensar medicamentos?

Are you a health professional able to prescribe or dispense drugs?

es en
Política de cookies Cookies policy
Utilizamos cookies propias y de terceros para mejorar nuestros servicios y mostrarle publicidad relacionada con sus preferencias mediante el análisis de sus hábitos de navegación. Si continua navegando, consideramos que acepta su uso. Puede cambiar la configuración u obtener más información aquí. To improve our services and products, we use "cookies" (own or third parties authorized) to show advertising related to client preferences through the analyses of navigation customer behavior. Continuing navigation will be considered as acceptance of this use. You can change the settings or obtain more information by clicking here.