Childhood obesity in Europe

A growing concern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

129 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Estimation of the prevalence and secular trends in paediatric obesity in Europe is impeded by methodological problems in the definition of obesity and the paucity of data sets that mirror the demographic, cultural and socioeconomic composition of the European population. The available prevalence data show that paediatric obesity is increasing throughout Europe but the patterns vary with time, age, sex and geographical region. The highest rates of obesity are observed in eastern and southern European countries. Even within countries there may be marked variability in the rates of obesity. It is unclear whether these trends are a simple consequence of an overall increase in fatness in Europe or whether there may be sub-groups of children who, at certain ages, are either particularly susceptible to environmental challenges or are selectively exposed to such challenges. In addition to the general increase in adiposity in European youth, there is also evidence of an increasing degree of obesity, particularly in older children and adolescents. No definite conclusions can be made about the respective contribution of energy intake and physical activity to the increasing prevalence of obesity. Changing demographic and social circumstances are linked to childhood obesity but it is highly unlikely that these interact in similar ways in the genesis of obesity in different individuals and population groups. In conclusion, the limited understanding of the variability in susceptibility to obesity in European youth provides powerful justification for the development of preventive strategies which are population based rather than selectively targeted at high-risk children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Volume4
Issue number1 A
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Fingerprint

childhood obesity
Pediatric Obesity
obesity
Obesity
demographic statistics
Demography
Southern European region
Eastern European region
Adiposity
adiposity
Energy Intake
Population Groups
physical activity
Population
socioeconomics
energy intake
Exercise
gender

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Definition of obesity
  • Energy intake
  • Physical activity
  • Prevalence of obesity
  • Sociodemographic factors
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Childhood obesity in Europe : A growing concern. / Livingstone, B.

In: Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 4, No. 1 A, 2001, p. 109-116.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{8c384ae70b9641c3ba6a9c33023adea9,
title = "Childhood obesity in Europe: A growing concern",
abstract = "Estimation of the prevalence and secular trends in paediatric obesity in Europe is impeded by methodological problems in the definition of obesity and the paucity of data sets that mirror the demographic, cultural and socioeconomic composition of the European population. The available prevalence data show that paediatric obesity is increasing throughout Europe but the patterns vary with time, age, sex and geographical region. The highest rates of obesity are observed in eastern and southern European countries. Even within countries there may be marked variability in the rates of obesity. It is unclear whether these trends are a simple consequence of an overall increase in fatness in Europe or whether there may be sub-groups of children who, at certain ages, are either particularly susceptible to environmental challenges or are selectively exposed to such challenges. In addition to the general increase in adiposity in European youth, there is also evidence of an increasing degree of obesity, particularly in older children and adolescents. No definite conclusions can be made about the respective contribution of energy intake and physical activity to the increasing prevalence of obesity. Changing demographic and social circumstances are linked to childhood obesity but it is highly unlikely that these interact in similar ways in the genesis of obesity in different individuals and population groups. In conclusion, the limited understanding of the variability in susceptibility to obesity in European youth provides powerful justification for the development of preventive strategies which are population based rather than selectively targeted at high-risk children.",
keywords = "Adolescents, Children, Definition of obesity, Energy intake, Physical activity, Prevalence of obesity, Sociodemographic factors, Tracking",
author = "B. Livingstone",
year = "2001",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
pages = "109--116",
journal = "Public Health Nutrition",
issn = "1368-9800",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
number = "1 A",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Childhood obesity in Europe

T2 - A growing concern

AU - Livingstone, B.

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - Estimation of the prevalence and secular trends in paediatric obesity in Europe is impeded by methodological problems in the definition of obesity and the paucity of data sets that mirror the demographic, cultural and socioeconomic composition of the European population. The available prevalence data show that paediatric obesity is increasing throughout Europe but the patterns vary with time, age, sex and geographical region. The highest rates of obesity are observed in eastern and southern European countries. Even within countries there may be marked variability in the rates of obesity. It is unclear whether these trends are a simple consequence of an overall increase in fatness in Europe or whether there may be sub-groups of children who, at certain ages, are either particularly susceptible to environmental challenges or are selectively exposed to such challenges. In addition to the general increase in adiposity in European youth, there is also evidence of an increasing degree of obesity, particularly in older children and adolescents. No definite conclusions can be made about the respective contribution of energy intake and physical activity to the increasing prevalence of obesity. Changing demographic and social circumstances are linked to childhood obesity but it is highly unlikely that these interact in similar ways in the genesis of obesity in different individuals and population groups. In conclusion, the limited understanding of the variability in susceptibility to obesity in European youth provides powerful justification for the development of preventive strategies which are population based rather than selectively targeted at high-risk children.

AB - Estimation of the prevalence and secular trends in paediatric obesity in Europe is impeded by methodological problems in the definition of obesity and the paucity of data sets that mirror the demographic, cultural and socioeconomic composition of the European population. The available prevalence data show that paediatric obesity is increasing throughout Europe but the patterns vary with time, age, sex and geographical region. The highest rates of obesity are observed in eastern and southern European countries. Even within countries there may be marked variability in the rates of obesity. It is unclear whether these trends are a simple consequence of an overall increase in fatness in Europe or whether there may be sub-groups of children who, at certain ages, are either particularly susceptible to environmental challenges or are selectively exposed to such challenges. In addition to the general increase in adiposity in European youth, there is also evidence of an increasing degree of obesity, particularly in older children and adolescents. No definite conclusions can be made about the respective contribution of energy intake and physical activity to the increasing prevalence of obesity. Changing demographic and social circumstances are linked to childhood obesity but it is highly unlikely that these interact in similar ways in the genesis of obesity in different individuals and population groups. In conclusion, the limited understanding of the variability in susceptibility to obesity in European youth provides powerful justification for the development of preventive strategies which are population based rather than selectively targeted at high-risk children.

KW - Adolescents

KW - Children

KW - Definition of obesity

KW - Energy intake

KW - Physical activity

KW - Prevalence of obesity

KW - Sociodemographic factors

KW - Tracking

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0035086648&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0035086648&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Review article

VL - 4

SP - 109

EP - 116

JO - Public Health Nutrition

JF - Public Health Nutrition

SN - 1368-9800

IS - 1 A

ER -