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Med Clin (Barc). 2003 May 3;120(16):608-12.

[Prevalence of obesity in Spain: results of the SEEDO 2000 study].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Unidad de Nutricion Comunitaria Subárea Municipal de Salud Pública, Luis Briñas, 18, 4a. planta. 48013, Bilbao, España.



Obesity is a major public health problem in developed countries. It is of key importance to ascertain its magnitude and to identify main groups at risk. In this paper the prevalence of obesity in Spanish adult population aged 25-60 is estimated, based on measured height and weight.


Pooled-analysis of regional cross-sectional nutrition surveys performed on representative random population samples. Randomly selected 9,885 free living subjects aged 25-60 years respondents of population nutritional surveys carried out in eight Spanish regions (Andalucía, Balearic Islands, Basque Country, Canary Islands, Catalunya, Galicia, Madrid and Valencia) between 1990 to 2000. Weight and height were measured on each individual by trained observers following standardised procedures and measuring instruments. The samples were pooled together and weighted according to the distribution of Spanish adult population aged 25-60 years. Obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) >= 30 kg/m2. The protocol used in each survey was in accordance to the recommendations of the Spanish Society for the study of Obesity (SEEDO) to estimate the prevalence of obesity in population studies.


The prevalence of obesity in Spanish adult population was 14.5% (95% CI, 13.93-15.07%), significantly higher among women 15.75% (95% CI, 14.89-16.61%), than men 13,39% (95% CI, 11.84-14.94%) (*2 = 12.470; p = 0.000). Prevalence of obesity significantly increased with age in men and women. The highest rates were estimated for the age group older than 55 years, both among males and females, 21.58% (95% CI, 18.68-24.48%) and 33.9% (95% CI, 32.73-35.07%), respectively.


Obesity is a health problem which affects an important proportion of the Spanish adult population. Considering its potential impact on Public Health, it would be required to design and implement effective strategies aimed at the early detection of subjects at risk and the provision of adequate treatment, as well as to establish suitable preventive programmes.

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