Contributions of Incidence and Persistence to the Prevalence of Childhood Obesity during the Emerging Epidemic in Denmark

Andersen, Lise Geisler; Baker, Jennifer L.; Sørensen, Thorkild I. A.; Guoying Wang
August 2012
PLoS ONE;Aug2012, Vol. 7 Issue 8, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Background: Prevalence of obesity is the result of preceding incidence of newly developed obesity and persistence of obesity. We investigated whether increasing incidence and/or persistence during childhood drove the prevalence of childhood obesity during the emerging epidemic. Methods: Height and weight were measured at ages 7 and 13 years in 192,992 Danish school children born 1930- 1969. Trends in the incidence (proportion obese at 13 years among those not obese at 7 years) and persistence (proportion obese at 13 years among those obese at 7 years) across birth cohort periods (1930-41 with low stable prevalence of obesity, 1942-51 with increasing prevalence, 1952-69 with the higher, but stable prevalence) were investigated. Logistic regression was used to examine the associations between BMI at 7 years as a continuous trait, allowing interactions with the birth cohorts, and occurrence of obesity at 13 years. Results: The prevalence of obesity was similar at 7 and 13 years and increased across birth cohorts in boys from around 0.1% to 0.5% and in girls from around 0.3% to 0.7%. The incidence of obesity between ages 7 and 13 years increased from 0.15% to 0.35% in boys and from 0.20% to 0.44% in girls. The persistence increased from 28.6% to 41.4% in boys and from 16.4% to 31.0% in girls. Despite a decrease over time, the remission of obesity occurred in .60% of obese children in the last birth cohort. However, the odds ratios of obesity at age 13 years in relation to the full range of BMI at 7 years remained unchanged across the birth cohort periods. Conclusions/Significance: The development of the obesity epidemic in children was due to an increase in both incidence and persistence of obesity. Contrary to prevailing expectations, a large, although declining, proportion of children obese at an early age underwent remission during childhood.


Related Articles

  • Measurement and Definitions of Obesity In Childhood and Adolescence: A field guide for the uninitiated. Sweeting, Helen N. // Nutrition Journal;2007, Vol. 6, p32 

    This paper aims to guide readers embarking on the complex literature in respect of childhood and adolescent obesity. It opens with a discussion of definitions of 'obesity' based on overall fat levels and the significance of fat distribution. This is followed by simple descriptions of the various...

  • The prevalence of childhood obesity in primary school children in urban Khon Kaen, Northeast Thailand. Langendijk, Germaine; Wellings, Sue; van Wyk, Marjorie; Thompson, Samantha J.; McComb, John; Chusilp, Kusuma // Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition;Mar2003, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p66 

    Childhood obesity is a serious public health problem because of its strong association with adulthood obesity and the related adverse health consequences. The published literature indicates a rising prevalence of childhood obesity in both developed and developing countries. However no data...

  • Childhood Obesity. Paula J. D'Amore // Laboratory Medicine;May2006, Vol. 37 Issue 5, p298 

    Obesity has grown into a major public health problem over the last few decades. Numerous research studies have focused on understanding the genetic, nutritional, and environmental causes of obesity and developing effective preventive strategies. In addition, there has been a growing attempt by...

  • Poorer children more likely to be obese.  // GP: General Practitioner;10/7/2005, p5 

    The article cites a study conducted in Great Britain which found that levels of obesity in children in the country have more than quadrupled over the past 20 years, and children from poorer backgrounds are at a higher risk. The researchers examined data from national health surveys carried out...

  • Association between eating behavior scores and obesity in Chilean children.  // Nutrition Journal;2011, Vol. 10, p108 

    The article focuses on the study conducted to examine the association between eating behavior scores and obesity in Chile based children. The finding reveals that eating behavior scores were associated with childhood obesity in children. Further it concludes the association between the magnitude...

  • Measuring Success in the Reduction of Obesity in Childhood. Alley, R. A.; Narduzzi, J. V.; Robbins, T. J.; Weir, T. F.; Sabeh, G.; Danowski, T. S. // Clinical Pediatrics;Feb1968, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p112 

    This is an age of justified pessimism concerning the probability of success in treating obesity in adults. It is worth emphasizing, therefore, that judging by weight and by ponderal indices, some measure of success, major or minor . . . can be anticipated in about one-half of obese children and...

  • A break in the obesity epidemic? Explained by biases or misinterpretation of the data? Visscher, T L S; Heitmann, B L; Rissanen, A; Lahti-Koski, M; Lissner, L // International Journal of Obesity;Feb2015, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p189 

    Recent epidemiologic papers are presenting prevalence data suggesting breaks and decreases in obesity rates. However, before concluding that the obesity epidemic is not increasing anymore, the validity of the presented data should be discussed more thoroughly. We had a closer look into the...

  • Baby Fat. Bernard, Sarah // New York;2/23/2004, Vol. 37 Issue 6, p22 

    Delves into the issue of obesity in children. Shift of view regarding baby fat from the signifier of growth and development to a potential harbinger of childhood weight problems; Discovery that almost half of the school-age children in New York are either overweight or obese; Anxieties of...

  • Overweight in children: a growing problem. Stein, Aryeh D. // Jornal de Pediatria;May/Jun2014, Vol. 90 Issue 3, p218 

    The author reflects on overweight in children and the article "Secular Trends and Factors Associated With Overweight Among Brazilian Preschool Children" by J. A. Silveira, F. A. Colugnati, M. Cocetti et al. in the issue. He suggests that child overweight and obesity track over the life course...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics