Falero Gallego, M. P.1; GonzÃ¡lez GonzÃ¡lez, A.2; MuÃ±oz Serrano, A.1; Moreno Manzanaro, I.1; Arias Arias, A.3; Redondo GonzÃ¡lez, O.3,4
Introduction. Childhood excess weight is an important public health worldwide problem nowadays. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most used indicator to estimate it. There is no international agreement on the defining criteria to be used in children, which implies great data variability and hinders its interpretation.
Objective. To estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the schoolchildren of “La Mancha-Centro” Health Area (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) applying different criteria and to assess the differences found.
Methods. Cross-sectional study of a representative sample of 954 from 6 to 12 years old schoolchildren. Overweight, obesity and excess weight prevalence was calculated by sex and age ranges, applying the most used national (Spanish CrossSectional Growth Study 2010 -SCGS 2010-, Orbegozo 1988, Orbegozo 2004) and international (World Health Organization - WHO-, International Obesity Task Force -IOTF-) criteria.
Results. Global prevalence of overweight, obesity and excess weight was, respectively, 25,4%, 21,1%, 46,5% with the WHO criteria; 26,3%, 11,5%, 37,8% following IOTF; 9,8%, 14,8%, 24,6% with Orbegozo 1988; 10,9%, 15,4%, 26,3% according to Orbegozo 2004; and 15,5%, 8,6%, 24,1% with SCGS 2010 cut-offs. Overweight and obesity prevalence was higher in girls than in boys, with significant differences in excess weight by all criteria.
Conclusions. Schoolchildren in La Mancha-Centro display high global prevalence of overweight, obesity and excess weight, which varies a lot according to the applied standard and exceeds prevalence of last Spanish, national or regional, and European studies. Girls achieve higher levels than boys significantly. It would be advisable to unify internationally which cut-off points to use in child excess weight studies.