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Ann Hum Biol. 2013 May;40(3):294-7. doi: 10.3109/03014460.2013.772654. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Rural-urban comparison in prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Shandong, China.

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  • 1Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shandong, PR China.



Prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in both developed and developing countries. The increasing global prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents constitutes a public health crisis.


The present study assessed the rural-urban differences in prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in Shandong Province, China from 1985-2010.


The BMI of adolescents aged 7-18 years was calculated using data from five national repeated cross-sectional surveys on students' constitution and health carried out by the government in 1985, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 in Shandong Province, China. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was obtained according to the WGOC (Working Group on Obesity in China) reference norm and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) cut-offs.


In the past 25 years, The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased rapidly: The rate of overweight plus obesity by WGOC reference norm increased from 3.60% (Urban male), 3.03% (Urban female), 0.77% (Rural male) and 1.47% (Rural female) in 1985 to 36.57% (Urban male), 19.39% (Urban female), 29.59% (Rural male) and 18.76% (Rural female) in 2010, respectively. The increasing trend is similar using IOTF cut-offs. Differences in prevalence by year of overweight and obesity between urban and rural areas were observed.


Overweight and obesity increased remarkably among Shandong adolescents from 1985-2010 and has become a serious public health problem. Comprehensive evidence-based strategies of intervention should be introduced, including periodic monitoring.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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