Age-specific stabilization in obesity prevalence in German children: A cross-sectional study from 1999 to 2008
Blüher S, Meigen C, Gausche R, Keller E, Pfäffle R, Sabin M, Werther G, Odeh R & Kiess W
Objective: Trends of overweight (ov)/obesity (ob) prevalence among German children aged 4–16 years were studied between 1999 and 2008. Subjects: Body mass index (BMI) data (>P90 [ov] and >P97 [ob]) from the national CrescNet database were analysed in three age groups: 4–7.99, 8–11.99, and 12–16 years. Results. Trend analyses. Data from 272 826 children were analyzed. a) Whole study population aged 4–16 years old. A significant upward trend for ov/ob prevalence was found between 1999 and 2003, and a significant downward trend between 2004 and 2008. b) Subgroup analyses. Ov/Ob prevalence increased in most subgroups studied until 2004. Between 2004 and 2008, a downward trend for ov/ob prevalence was found in children, aged 4–7.99 years, whereas it stabilized in most other subgroups studied. Cross-sectional analyses. Data from 93 028 children were analyzed. Ov/ob prevalence was significantly higher in 2004 compared with 2000 in girls aged 12–16 years and in boys aged 8–16 years. Ov/ob obesity prevalence was significantly lower in 2008 compared with 2004 in children aged 4–7.99 years. Conclusion. Ov/ob prevalence increased between 1999 and 2003 in German children. Since 2004, this trend has been stabilizing or turning into a downward trend. Our data confirm the global trend of stabilizing prevalence rates of childhood obesity at a high level and add important information for individual age groups. Intervention programs targeted to prevent childhood obesity may have had beneficial effects, and a new balance between factors favouring obesity and those favouring leanness may have been reached recently. Age- and gender-specific differences found in trends of ov/ob prevalence may help optimise preventive and therapeutic measures.
See this paper on the web (membership may be required)