Aim: To analyse obesity and overweight prevalence trend in Oviedo (Spain) during the last 14 years.
Patients and methods: Two cross-sectional studies were conducted in the same five public schools of the urban area of Oviedo in 1992 and 2004-06. One thousand one hundred sixty-five children and young adults between the age of 6 and 17 years were studied in 1992 and 1312 in 2004-06. Obesity and overweight were defined according to the International Obesity Task Force cut-off values.
Results: Body mass index (BMI) values (20.5+/-3.6 vs. 20.1+/-3.3 p=0.02) and obesity prevalence (6.3% vs. 4.5% p<0.05) were significantly higher in the 2004-06 cohort, while overweight prevalence showed a non-significant increase. Obesity prevalence increased in both sexes in the 6-11-year group. In adolescent females, a four-fold increase was observed, from 0.9% in 1992 (95% CI: -0.1 to 1.9) to 3.8% in 2004-06 (95% CI: 1.8-6). A slight non-significant decrease was observed in adolescent males (6.6% in 1992 to 5.8% in 2004-06).
Conclusion: Obesity and overweight are increasing in children and adolescents in Oviedo at a level similar to that observed in studies conducted in developed countries. This obesity epidemic is becoming an important public health issue.