Obesity: A growing problem

Department of Chronic Disease and Environmental Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway: 1992). Supplement 03/1999; 88(428):46-50. DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.1999.tb14350.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or more, is common in many parts of the world, especially in the established market economies, the former socialist economies of Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle Eastern Crescent. As many as 250 million people worldwide may be obese (7% of the adult population) and two to three times as many may be considered overweight. The prevalence of obesity seems to be increasing in most parts of the world, even where it used to be rare. Increased fatness, measured by a high BMI, a large waist circumference or a high waist/hip circumference ratio, is associated with many chronic diseases as well as with poor physical functioning. Assessments of the prevalence of obesity, and trends in this prevalence over time, are more difficult in children than adults, due to the lack of international criteria for classifying individuals as overweight or obese. The World Health Organization has now recommended the use of BMI-for-age percentiles, but the reference curves are still under development. France. The Netherlands, the UK and the USA are among the countries that have reported recent increases in the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents. Although there are no accurate estimates of the components of energy balance and their changes over time, the available evidence suggests that the trends in obesity rates are related more to a reduction in energy expenditure than to an increase in caloric intake. Prevention of obesity through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle is among the important challenges for the new millennium, and should start in childhood.

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    • "Obesity is one of the most common health problems with increasing prevalence worldwide among people of all ages (Flegal et al., 1998; Seidell, 1999). Obesity during childhood and adolescence is supposed to be an important determinant of whether a subject will become obese as an adult. "
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    ABSTRACT: Globally, obesity is affecting an increasing proportion of children. Physical activity plays an important role in the prevention of becoming overweight and obese in childhood and adolescence, and reducing the risk of obesity in adulthood. Puberty and the following adolescent period are acknowledged as particularly vulnerable times for the development of obesity due to sexual maturation and, in many individuals, a concomitant reduction in physical activity. In many Western settings, a large proportion of children and adolescents do not meet recommended physical activity guidelines and, typically, those who are more physically active have lower levels of body fat than those who are less active. Active behaviours have been displaced by more sedentary pursuits which have contributed to reductions in physical activity energy expenditure. Without appropriate activity engagement there is an increased likelihood that children will live less healthy lives than their parents. Owing to the high risk of overweight adolescents becoming obese adults, the engagement of children and adolescents in physical activity and sport is a fundamental goal of obesity prevention.
    British Journal of Sports Medicine 09/2011; 45(11):866-70. DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090199 · 5.03 Impact Factor
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    • "Obesity in children and adolescents is a global concern. In developed countries, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children increased by a magnitude of two to five times in the last quarter of the twentieth century (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Not only developed countries but also developing countries are adversely affected (6, 7). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in school children in Eastern Turkey. This study included 9048 school children aged 6-18 years. The subjects were classified as overweight and obese, according to the International Obesity Task Force. We found prevalence of overweight of 11.1% in the studied population. It was detected that 2.2% of the population in the study was obese; 2.1% of males and 2.3% of females. While the prevalence of obesity was extremely low before 9 ages and after 15, it reached to high values at puberty and just before pubertal period in boys. The prevalence of overweight was higher in girls and reached to peak point at pubertal ages. Generally, the prevalence of obesity and overweight was slightly higher in girls than in boys, although the boys were more obese in prepubertal ages. Overweight and obesity are concerns for children and adolescents in low socio-economic status regions as well.
    Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology 12/2010; 2(4):159-63. DOI:10.4274/jcrpe.v2i4.159
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    • "The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing worldwide [1], and body weight is closely associated with mortality and morbidity [2,3]. Obesity has been known as an important risk factor of cardiovascular disease (CVD) [4] and weight reduction in overweight or obese individuals was known to have beneficial health effects [5]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Although the association of weight gain and developing metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been reported in the Western and Asian populations, data on the gender-stratified effects of weight change (including weight loss) on incident MetS and its components in the Middle East Caucasians is still scarce. A total of 1431 men and 2036 women aged > OR years with BMI > 18.5 kg/m2 were followed over 3 years. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the relative risk (RR) of MetS and its components (the Adult Treatment Panel III definition) associated with gender-stratified quintiles of percent weight change. Subjects with MetS at baseline were excluded for analyzing the RR of MetS. There was 20.4% (95% CI, 19.6-21.2) age-adjusted incident MetS (18.4% male vs. 23.1% women). In men, mild weight gain (WG) predicted high waist circumference (WC) and high triglyceride; moderate WG predicted MetS (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4-4.3), high WC and high blood pressure (BP); large WG predicted MetS (RR 3.2, 95% CI 1.8-5.7) and its components, except for high fasting plasma glucose. In women, mild WG predicted MetS (RR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4-4.3), high WC and high BP; moderate WG predicted Mets (RR 4.6, 95% CI 2.7-8.0), high WC and high triglyceride; large WG predicted MetS (RR 6.6, 95% CI 3.8-11.3) and its components except for low HDL-cholesterol. Mild weight loss had protective effect on high WC in both genders and MetS in men (RR 0.5, 95% CI 0.26-0.97, P = 0.04). Weight change showed different effects on MetS in men and women. In women, mild WG predicted MetS; however, mild weight loss was protective against MetS in men and high WC in both genders.
    BMC Public Health 05/2009; 9(1):138. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-9-138 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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