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Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2017 Aug;70(8):656-663. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2017.02.026. Epub 2017 Mar 18.

Childhood Excess Weight in Spain From 2006 to 2012. Determinants and Parental Misperception.

[Article in English, Spanish]

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Servicio de Medicina Preventiva y Gestión de Calidad, Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:
Escuela Nacional de Sanidad, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Madrid, Spain; CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, CIBERESP, Madrid, Spain.
Escuela Nacional de Sanidad, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Madrid, Spain.



Due to the high prevalence of childhood obesity in Spain, we analyzed changes in its prevalence from 2006 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2012, as well as diet, sleep, and sedentary habits in 5- to 14-year-olds and parental misperceptions about their children's excess weight.


The sample was from the Spanish National Health Surveys for 2006 to 2007 (n=5590) and for 2011 to 2012 (n=3601). Data were collected by trained personnel through telephone interviews with parents/guardians. Weight and height were self-reported and the International Obesity Task Force cutpoints were used to define overweight and obesity.


The prevalence of childhood excess weight was 30.1% from 2006 to 2007 and 29.7% from 2011 to 2012, while that of childhood obesity was 9.6% and 9%, respectively. Parental misperception of childhood excess weight increased from 60.8% to 71.4% (P<.001). Daily consumption of vegetables increased by 7.8%, while that of soft drinks and snacks decreased. This decrease was greatest in children from families with a low socioeconomic status, who also decreased their consumption of sweets and fast food. Adherence to sleep recommendations decreased by 5%, but adherence to recommended sedentary time did not change.


High childhood overweight and obesity rates remained stable in Spain from 2006 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2012, but there was an increase in parental misperception of childhood excess weight. Despite reduced consumption of soft drinks and snacks, there was low adherence to dietary recommendations, hours of sleep, and sedentary habits.


Actividad sedentaria; Childhood obesity; Childhood overweight; Diet; Dieta; España; Horas de sueño; Hours of sleep; Nutrición; Nutrition; Obesidad infantil; Parental misperception; Percepción parental errónea; Sedentary activity; Sobrepeso infantil; Spain

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