Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Mar;56(3):200-4.

Trends in overweight and obesity prevalence in Chilean children: comparison of three definitions.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology (INTA), University of Chile, Santiago, Chile.



To compare trends in prevalence of overweight and obesity among Chilean children using three different criteria.


Descriptive cross-sectional school-based study to analyse these trends in 6-y-old boys and girls who entered first grade in 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996 and 2000. Gender-specific prevalence of overweight and obesity were determined with three criteria: weight for height (W-H) Z-scores compared to NCHS 1977; present reference used by the Ministry of Health; and body mass index (BMI) compared to the revised US CDC Growth Charts with cut-off values of P85-95 and P-95 and IOTF reference with cut-offs extrapolated from an adult BMI of 25 and 30.


The prevalence of overweight determined by W-H (WHO) increased from 15% in 1987 to 20% in 2000 for boys and from 17.2 to 21.8% for girls. With BMI-CDC, the increase was from 13.2 to 19.2% for boys and 12 to 18.5% for girls. With BMI-IOTF, rates were very similar. Prevalence of obesity using W-H (WHO) increased from 6.5% in 1987 to 17% in 2000 for boys and from 7.8 to 18.6% for girls. Using BMI-CDC, the increase was from 5.1 to 14.7% for boys and from 4 to 15.8% for girls; using BMI-IOTF prevalence estimates were much lower.


Obesity prevalence in children has increased over time, and trends are similar independent of criteria. The reference used to define prevalence is important since it provides different estimates. Policy makers should be aware that a spurious drop in prevalence may appear if the IOTF reference is compared to the other criteria.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk