The prevalence of excess weight and obesity in Slovenian children and adolescents from 1991 to 2011
Keywords:public health, excess weight, BMI, secular trend, epidemic, gender differences, Slovenia
The proportion of overweight children and adults has been growing rapidly in recent years in many European and other countries. The survey examined excess weight and obesity in a population of Slovenian boys and girls aged seven through eighteen from 1991 to 2011 with the use of an annually repeated cross-sectional study of data from the SLOFIT fitness evaluation system. The BMI cut-off points of the International Obesity Taskforce were used to identify excess weight and obesity. During 1991–2011 period, excess weight and obesity have become clearly more prevalent in Slovenian children. The proportion of excess weight and obesity is more obvious in boys than in girls, especially among adolescents, although the increase has been similar in both sexes (overweight boys 13.3% in 1991 vs. 19.9% in 2011; overweight girls 12.0% vs. 17.2%; obese boys 2.7% vs. 7.5%; obese girls 2.1% vs. 5.5%). In recent years, the prevalence of excess weight and obesity among 9- to 13-year-old boys and 8- to 12-year-old girls is around two to three times higher than at the age of eighteen. Also notable is a high rate (around 4%) of obese girls and boys at the ages 17 and 18 in 2011, which is approximately two times higher than in previous years, while the rate of excess weight and obesity among 7-year-old children of both sexes is the same (among those overweight) and a little lower (among those obese) compared with 2006.