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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Oct;24(10):1347-52.

Ten-year trends in overweight and obesity among Danish men and women aged 30-60 years.

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Copenhagen County Centre for Preventive Medicine, Medical Department FC, Glostrup University, Hospital, Denmark.



The prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide. Published data of the development of obesity among adult Danes is based primarily on self-reported information of body weight and height. The objective of the study was, therefore, to describe the development over 10 y in moderate and severe overweight in Danish adults aged 30-60 y.


1,940 men and 1,844 women, born in 1922, 1932, 1942 or 1952, participated in a first survey in 1982. A total of 808 men and 816 women, born in 1932, 1942, 1952 or 1962, were included in a second survey in 1992. The surveys originated in the Danish MONICA studies. Moderate and severe overweight were determined on the basis of body mass index (BMI).


The prevalence of severe overweight (BMI > or = 30 kg/m2) increased from approximately 10 to 13% in men and from 9 to 11% in women (both P=0.03), corresponding to an increase in the overweight Danish subjects of about 75,000 in this age group over the period. The increase was most pronounced in the young age groups. The proportion of severe overweight in those 30 y old increased from 3.1 to 7.8% in women (P= 0.006) and from 5.0 to 9.4% in men (P=0.045). In 1992, 8% of men with more than 12 y of schooling were severely overweight, compared to 3% 10 y earlier (P= 0.045). In women with more than 12 y of schooling there was no difference. In the group with less than 7 y schooling, the proportion of severely overweight women increased from 12.8 to 19.8% (P=0.02) and severely overweight men from 15.0 to 21.2% (P= 0.048). After adjustment for differences in age and education the proportion of severely overweight men remained greater in 1992 compared to 1982. In women the proportion of severe overweight had increased among the 30 y olds only, but not the 40-60 y olds.


The increase in obesity in the Danish population is in line with the general international increase. There is a considerable increase in the proportion of adult Danes with a BMI > or = 30 kg/m2 corresponding to an estimated extra 75,000 severely overweight 30-60 y olds in the period. The study also demonstrates that the increase in severe overweight is most pronounced among the men and the younger women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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