Overweight and obesity in Norwegian children: prevalence and socio-demographic risk factors

Acta Paediatr. 2010 Jun;99(6):900-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01730.x. Epub 2010 Feb 18.


Aim: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity and to identify socio-demographic risk factors in Norwegian children.

Methods: The body mass index of 6386 children aged 2-19 years was compared with the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) cut-off values to estimate the prevalence of overweight including obesity (OWOB) and obesity (OB). The effect of socio-demographic factors on this prevalence was analysed using multiple ordinal logistic regression analysis in a subsample of 3793 children.

Results: The overall prevalence of OWOB was 13.8% (13.2% in boys and 14.5% in girls, p = 0.146), but the prevalence was higher in primary school children aged 6-11 years (17%, p < 0.001). The risk of being OWOB or OB increased in children with fever siblings (p = 0.003) and with lower parental educational level (p = 0.001). There was no association with parental employment status, single-parent families or origin.

Conclusion: The prevalence of OWOB and OB in Norwegian primary school children is of concern. Socio-demographic factors have pronounced effects on the current prevalence of overweight and obesity in a cohort of Norwegian children. This knowledge could help to work out strategies to reduce the burden of overweight and obesity in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult