Objective: To study secular trends in overweight and selected correlates in men and women in Göteborg, Sweden.
Design: Cross-sequential population-based surveys.
Subjects: A total of 2931 female and 2691 male subjects aged 25-64 y participated in WHO MONICA surveys (1985, 1990, 1995) and the INTERGENE study (2002).
Measurements: Body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), prevalence of overweight (BMI> or =25 kg/m(2)), and obesity (BMI> or =30 kg/m(2)).
Results: Mean body weight increased by 3.3 kg for women and 5 kg for men, with a significant upward trend for BMI in men but not women over the 17-y observation period. The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased significantly in both sexes over the period. The largest increase was observed in men, and in women aged 25-34 y. In 2002, the prevalence of overweight was 38% in women and 58% in men, and the prevalence of obesity was 11% in women and 15% in men. No significant secular trends were observed for WHR, but there was an upward trend in prevalence of WHR>0.85 in women. A decreased prevalence of smoking in both sexes was observed together with an increase in reported leisure time physical activity. No significant secular trends were observed in rates of self-reported diabetes, although the risk of diabetes attributable to obesity was 24%.
Conclusion: The results indicate that 25-64-y-olds in the recent survey were more overweight and obese than earlier studied MONICA participants. The increase in BMI was more pronounced in men while abdominal obesity increased principally in women. Although obesity and overweight are clearly important risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the number of diabetics remains low and any secular increase is not yet apparent.