MÃ¡rquez DÃaz, Rita RocÃo
Introduction and objectives: Obesity is a chronic disease considered by World Health Organization as the epidemic of the century. Several factors cause their presence and also trigger substantial pathologies. The aim therefore of this study is to determine the prevalence of obesity in Spanish adult population, relating to age and sex, in addition to knowing what kind of relationship established with the education factor.
Methods: An ecological study using data from national health surveys of 2003, 2006 and 2011. Our population is composed by adults and the study variable in the questionnaires is the body mass index.
Results: The percentage of obesity in Spain continues increasing along this century, from 13.62% in 2003 to 17.03% in 2011. As far as gender is concerned, men tend to be more obese than women, with special emphasis from the 45 years of age. Regarding the prevalence of obesity in the autonomous regions of the country, Andalusia, Extremadura and Castilla La Mancha lead the top positions, while Cantabria, Navarra and Castilla Leon are the last. Finally, depending on the level of study of individuals, those who have primary or lower education present a high rate of obesity, 26.7% in 2011.
Discussion: Education has a positive impact on the health and welfare of the individual, as it provides the necessary knowledge to develop behaviors and healthier life styles. Thus, this fact suggests that higher levels of education, lower percentage of obesity. Currently, most of the adult population has primary education, which coincides with an increase in the number of obese Spanish
Conclusion: The relationship between obesity and educational level is inverse and very strong. However, this does not indicate causality but dependency, so it would be useful to further research on this type of association in order to reduce the rate of obesity in our country making population aware of this major health problem through the education promotion.