Prevalence of obesity in a Paediatric Primary Care office. Evolution of body mass index
Reference of this article: Albañil Ballesteros MR, Sánchez Martín M, Sanz Cuesta T. Prevalence of obesity in a Paediatric Primary Care office. Evolution of body mass index. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2007;9:219-30.
Published in Internet: 30-06-2007
Introduction: childhood obesity is a health problem of increasing prevalence and most
prominent, not only because of its persistence in the later stages of life but also due to its
relationship with pathological conditions during childhood and adolescence such as cardiovascular
disease and diabetes.
Objective: to ascertain the prevalence of obesity and overweight in 2003 in children
aged 2 to 14, seen in one paediatric Primary Care office in Fuenlabrada (Madrid) and the
trends of this prevalence, compared to that observed in previous years.
Subject and methods: a descriptive cross study of 318 children calculating their body
mass index (BMI) at ages 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 11 and 14. Obesity is defined as BMI < P95 and overweight
as BMI < P85, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
growth charts from the year 2000. Results are matched with those obtained at the same
ages in the cohort of 14 year old children followed in a longitudinal study.
Results: the prevalence of obesity in children aged 2 to 14 was 16.03% (18.12% in
boys and 14.2% in girls). The prevalence of overweight is 14.46% (11.40% in boys and
17.15% in girls). Gender differences are not significant in any of the age groups studied,
neither in the whole group.
Conclusions: the prevalence of obesity and overweight observed in children aged 2 to
14 in our practice are very high and similar to that registered in other Spanish regions.
The paediatric practices in Primary Care centers should play a relevant role in the prevention
and control of obesity.
Keywords● Body Mass Index ● Pediatric obesity ● Prevalence ● Primary Care ● Teenagers