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Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Apr;33(4):401-7. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.31. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Prevalence of overweight in 6- to 15-year-old children in central/western France from 1996 to 2006: trends toward stabilization.

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  • 1INSERM U557, INRA U1125, CNAM Univ Paris13, CRNH IdF, Unité de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle, Bobigny, France.



The prevalence of overweight in children has markedly increased over the past few decades in France, as in all Western countries. We sought to describe the yearly prevalence of childhood overweight from 1996 to 2006 and to assess whether a shift in trends could be observed dating from the time the Nutrition and Health National Program (PNNS) was set up in France in 2001, in particular according to gender, age and family economic status.


We used annual overweight prevalence of standardized 6- to 15-year-old populations (total=26 600) with weight and height measured at health examination centers in the central/western part of France between 1996 and 2006. Regression slopes of overweight prevalence were evaluated between 1996 and 2006, and specifically between 1996 and 2001, and 2001 and 2006. The annual prevalence and estimated slopes were compared in subgroups, taking into account gender, age and economic status of the family.


The prevalence increased between 1996 (11.5%) and 1998 (14.8%) and was stable between 1998 and 2006 (15.2%). According to linear regression, the overall trend in prevalence of overweight children between 1996 and 2006 was stable (slope=0.19, P=0.08). Similarly, the prevalence of overweight increased between 1996 and 1998 in boys and girls, in 6-10 year olds, in 11-15 year olds and in non-disadvantaged children, and remained stable thereafter. The prevalence of overweight in the disadvantaged group increased between 1996 (12.8%) and 2001 (18.9%) (slope=1.16, P=0.004) and was stable between 2001 and 2006 (18.2%) (slope=0.09, P=0.78).


The results of this study reveal a stable prevalence of overweight since 1998 in most groups studied, and since 2001 in the disadvantaged group.

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