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To examine the trends in BMI and adiposity among schoolchildren from Cuenca, Spain, during 2004–2010.
Two methodologically comparable surveys were carried out in 2004 and 2010.
Primary schools in Cuenca, a province in the middle of Spain.
All schoolchildren aged 8–11 years, belonging to 4th and 5th grades from twenty schools in the Province of Cuenca, were invited to participate in both cross-sectional studies. Weight, height and body fat percentage (BF%) from bioelectrical impedance were measured with standardized procedures.
The study included 550 boys and 539 girls in 2004, and 569 boys and 531 girls in 2010. In 2010, 8·1 % of children were underweight, 25·9 % overweight and 9·5 % obese. From 2004 to 2010, the prevalence of overweight rose from 21·6 % to 28·0 % (P = 0·004) and BF % increased from 22·6 % to 24·0 % (P = 0·001) among boys. No change was observed in overweight and BF % in girls, or in underweight and obesity in either sex. In boys, most of the distribution of BMI and BF % shifted to the right; in contrast, among girls no substantial change was apparent in the distribution of BMI and BF %.
From 2004 to 2010 the prevalence of overweight and adiposity has continued to increase among boys. However, the obesity epidemic may have levelled off in girls. Given that the prevalence of childhood excess weight is still very high, the current evidence-based efforts to halt the obesity epidemic in Spain should be strengthened.
In developed countries, there is abundant information on the epidemic of childhood obesity, but only a few studies on trends in the dual burden of body weight (overweight and thinness).
To examine trends in overweight and thinness among 9–10-year-old Spanish children in the last decade.
Data were taken from cross-sectional studies on schoolchildren in Cuenca (Spain), conducted in 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2004 with similar methods. Weight and height were measured by trained personnel with standardized procedures. Overweight (including obesity) and thinness were defined according with the International Obesity Taskforce BMI cut-offs.
The overall prevalence of overweight increased from 24·4 % in 1992 to 30·9 % in 2004 (P = 0·07), rising from 21·2 % in 1992 to 32·0 % in 2004 (P = 0·03) among boys and from 27·7 % to 29·8 % (P = 0·67) among girls. The overall prevalence of thinness was 2·7 % in 1992 and 9·2 % in 2004 (P < 0·001); in the same period, thinness prevalence rose from 1·9 % to 9·0 % (P = 0·10) among boys and from 3·7 % to 9·5 % (P < 0·01) among girls.
The dual burden of body weight has increased among children in Cuenca in the last decade. Population-based policies addressing childhood obesity, which is the most frequent problem, should not increase the risk of thinness.
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