Prevalence of General Obesity and Abdominal Obesity in the Spanish Adult Population (Aged 25-64 Years) 2014-2015: The ENPE Study

Rev Esp Cardiol (Engl Ed). 2016 Jun;69(6):579-87. doi: 10.1016/j.rec.2016.02.009. Epub 2016 Apr 26.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction and objectives: According to the 2013 analysis of the Institute of Health Metrics, high body mass index values are the most important risk factor for disease in Spain. Consequently, we describe the prevalence of total obesity and abdominal obesity in the Spanish adult population (25-64 years) for 2014-2015.

Methods: The sample was taken from the ENPE study, a cross-sectional study with a representative sample of the noninstitutionalized population (n = 6800) carried out between May 2014 and May 2015. This analysis refers to the population between age 25 and 64 years (n = 3966). The anthropometric measurements were performed by trained observers at participants' homes according to standard international protocols. Body mass index ≥ 25 was defined as overweight and ≥ 30 as obesity. Abdominal obesity was classified as waist > 102 cm in men and > 88 cm in women.

Results: The estimated prevalence of overweight in the Spanish adult population (25-64 years) was 39.3% 95% confidence interval [95%CI], 35.7%-42.9%). The prevalence of general obesity was 21.6% (95%CI, 19.0%-24.2%) and, more specifically, was 22.8% (95%CI, 20.6%-25.0%) among men and 20.5% (95%CI, 18.5%-22.5%) among women, and rose with age. The prevalence of abdominal obesity was estimated at 33.4% (95%CI, 31.1%-35.7%) and was higher among women (43.3%; 95%CI, 41.1%-45.8%) than among men (23.3%; 95%CI, 20.9%-25.5%), and also rose with age.

Conclusions: The prevalence of general obesity and abdominal obesity in Spain is high, although the distribution differs according to autonomous community. A comparison with earlier data reveals a considerable increase in overweight, indicating the need for routine monitoring and comprehensive initiatives.

Keywords: Abdominal obesity; Adultos; Adults; Cintura; Obesidad; Obesidad abdominal; Obesity; Prevalence; Prevalencia; Waist; Waist-to-height ratio; Waist-to-hip ratio; Índice cintura-cadera; Índice cintura-talla.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Waist Circumference