Stabilization of overweight prevalence in French children between 2000 and 2007
Salanave B, Peneau S, Rolland-Cachera MF, Hercberg S and Castetbon K
Objective. Over the past several decades, the prevalence of childhood obesity has increased worldwide. In France, the National Nutrition and Health Program (PNNS), implemented in 2001, was aimed at stopping this increase. The purpose of our study was to monitor changes in prevalence of overweight and obesity in 7–9-year-old children in France since the PNNS was set up. Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2007 in France based on a comparable protocol used in 2000. Primary schools were randomly selected in 11 out of 26 administrative school districts. In each of these schools, two classes were randomly selected. All children from these classes were included. Weight and height were measured by nurses or physicians belonging to the French educational system. A lifestyle self-administered questionnaire was completed by the parents. International Obesity Task Force cut-offs were used to define body mass status. Direct standardization was used to enable a comparison between 2000 and 2007. Results. In 2007, the prevalence of overweight was 15.8%, including 2.8% obesity, compared with 18.1% and 3.8%, respectively, in 2000. Differences between 2000 and 2007 did not reach statistical significance. In both years, the risk of being overweight or obese was significantly lower for children whose parents’ occupation was that of manager or white collar rather than the other, less-privileged occupational categories. Conclusion. Our study demonstrates stabilization of the prevalence of overweight and obesity in 7–9-year-old children in France between 2000 and 2007. It is possible that the PNNS may be partly responsible for this stabilization.
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