25-year trends in gender disparity for obesity and overweight by using WHO and IOTF definitions among Chinese school-aged children: a multiple cross-sectional study

Yi Song, Haijun Wang, Bin Dong, Jun Ma, Zhiqiang Wang, Anette Agardh

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Abstract

Objectives: We sought to explore 25-year trends of gender disparity in the prevalence of obesity and overweight both in urban and rural areas among Chinese children from 1985 to 2010.

Methods: Data included 1 280 239 children aged 7–18 years enrolled in the Chinese National Survey on Students's Constitution and Health (CNSSCH), which is the largest nationally representative sample of school-aged children in China. Obesity and overweight were defined according to both WHO and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) definitions. Logistic regression was used to estimate the prevalence OR (POR) of gender for obesity and overweight prevalence in different surveys.

Results: The prevalence of obesity increased (WHO definition: from 0.10% to 4.3%; IOTF definition: from 0.03% to 2.2%) over the past 25 years in urban and rural areas among Chinese children and it was much higher among boys than girls at each survey point (p<0.01). The increasing trend was significant in all age subgroups (p<0.01). Although the prevalence of obesity continuously increased in boys and girls, the changing pace was more rapid in boys than in girls. PORs of boys versus girls for obesity also increased over time, and the estimates of PORs were higher in urban areas than in rural areas at each survey point.

Conclusions: The gradually increasing gender disparity in urban and rural areas suggests that the prevalence of obesity and overweight in boys, and especially in urban boys, contributes to a large and growing proportion of obese and overweight children.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere011904
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Volume6
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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