Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jan;77(1):29-36.

Change in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among young Australians, 1969-1997.

Author information

  • 1Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Sydney at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, New South Wales, Australia. michaeb4@chw.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Effective public policy requires information on the prevalence of overweight and obesity.

OBJECTIVE:

We determined changes in the population prevalence of overweight and obesity among young Australians (aged 7-15 y) from 1969 to 1985 to 1997.

DESIGN:

Data from 5 independent population surveys were analyzed: the Australian Youth Fitness Survey, 1969; the Australian Health and Fitness Survey, 1985; the South Australian Schools Fitness and Physical Activity Survey, 1997; the New South Wales Schools Fitness and Physical Activity Survey, 1997; and the Health of Young Victorians Study, 1997. Measured body mass index was used as the index of adiposity, and recently published body mass index cutoff values were used to categorize each subject as nonoverweight, overweight, obese, or either overweight or obese.

RESULTS:

For 1985-1997, the population prevalence of overweight increased by 60-70%, obesity increased 2-4-fold, and the combined overweight and obesity categories doubled. The findings were consistent across data sets and between the sexes. For 1969-1985, there was no change in the prevalence of overweight or obesity among girls, but among boys the prevalence of overweight increased by 35%, the prevalence of obesity trebled, and the prevalence of overweight and obesity combined increased by 60%.

CONCLUSIONS:

The data show that in 1985-1997, the prevalence of overweight and obesity combined doubled and that of obesity trebled among young Australians, but the increase over the previous 16 y was far smaller. These results should increase our sense of urgency in identifying and implementing effective responses to this major threat to public health.

PMID:
12499319
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk