Topic 2 Epidemiology of obesity in childhood

  • Prevalence of overweight: 29% in boys and 27% in girls aged 7–9 years
  • Prevalence of obesity: 13% in boys and 9% in girls
  • The highest prevalence of overweight for both genders (between 38% and 43%) in Mediterranean countries (Cyprus, Spain, Greece and Italy)
  • Central Asian countries (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan) had the lowest prevalence (between 5% and 11%).
  • Gender differences were observed in all age groups, with overweight or obesity more prevalent in boys than girls in most countries.
  • Moreover, there was a tendency for an increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity by age in both boys and girls.
  • A decreasing trend in overweight and obesity was observed in five of the 13 countries. The reduction in prevalence of overweight in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain – all countries with the highest baseline figures – and Slovenia ranged from 4 to 12 percentage points for boys and from 3 to 7 percentage points for girls.