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Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2017;70:646-55 - Vol. 70 Num.08 DOI: 10.1016/j.rec.2016.12.013

Trends in Child Obesity and Underweight in Spain by Birth Year and Age, 1983 to 2011

Ingrid de Ruiter a,, Rocío Olmedo-Requena a,b,c, José Juan Sánchez-Cruz b,c,d, José Juan Jiménez-Moleón a,b,c

a Departamento de Medicina Preventiva y Salud Pública, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
b CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain
c Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria de Granada, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Granada, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
d Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, Granada, Spain

Refers to

Stabilization in the Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Spanish Children and Young Adolescents  Only available in Spanish
Hugo Olmedillas, Germán Vicente-Rodríguez
Rev Esp Cardiol. 2017;70:629-30
Full text - PDF


Obesity. Trends. Epidemiology. Child population. Risk factors.


Introduction and objectives

The prevalences of child obesity and overweight are increasing worldwide and are a significant public health issue, particularly in terms of long-term cardiovascular risk profiles, which continue into adulthood unless obesity is reversed. Accurately identifying trends and at-risk subgroups is crucial to correctly target public health initiatives. The objective of this study was to examine changes in the prevalences of child obesity and underweight in Spain from 1983 to 2011 taking into consideration both age and birth year.


A series of cross-sectional studies representative of the pediatric population in Spain between 1987 and 2011 was used to calculate the prevalence and trends of excess weight and underweight in girls and boys aged 2 to 14 years per survey year and per birth year.


The overall prevalence of overweight and obesity remained relatively stable. The prevalence of overweight in boys aged 10 to 14 years increased from 13.9% to 22.2%. The prevalence of obesity in girls aged 2 to 5 years decreased from 30% to 19.8%, whereas the prevalence of underweight in this group increased from 13.7% to 22.6%.


Child obesity trends in Spain over the last 2 decades appear to be stable with some fluctuations, but the trends differ depending on age and sex, and have stabilized at too high a level. The prevalence of underweight also appears to have increased and should be considered alongside excess weight when designing and implementing child health and weight measures.


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1885-5857/© 2017 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved