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J Trop Pediatr. 2017 Apr 17. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmx030. [Epub ahead of print]

Trends in the Prevalence of Morbid Obesity among Children and Adolescents in Shandong, China, 1995-2014.

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Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shandong University Institute of Preventive Medicine, Shandong 250014, China.



: Childhood obesity has increased dramatically during the past decades; however, data on the prevalence of morbid obesity is limited. The present study examined the prevalent trends in morbid obesity among children and adolescents during the past 19 years (1995-2014) in Shandong, China.


: Data for this study were obtained from five cross-sectional surveys (1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2014) of schoolchildren in Shandong Province, China. A total of 41‚ÄČ500 students aged 7-18 years were included in this study. Body mass index cutoffs recommended by the International Obesity Task Force were used to define morbid obesity.


: The prevalence of morbid obesity was increasing continuously during the past 19 years (1995-2014), from 0.25% for boys and 0.11% for girls in 1995 to 2.73% for boys and 1.29% for girls in 2014. Boys had higher prevalence of morbid obesity than girls ( p <0.01). Regional socioeconomic status (SES) inequalities in morbid obesity were observed; children and adolescents from high SES district had a rapid increase in the prevalence of morbid obesity than their counterparts from moderate SES and low SES districts in the past 19 years.


: Although the current prevalence of morbid obesity was at a relatively low level, a continuous increasing trend was observed between 1995 and 2014. We should not relax our vigilance, and policymakers and experts should pay more attention to the monitoring and prevention of morbid obesity among children and adolescents in the future decades.


adolescent; morbid obesity; prevalence; secular trend

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