Thinness in the era of obesity: trends in children and adolescents in The Netherlands since 1980

Schönbeck, Yvonne; Van Dommelen, Paula; Hira Sing, Remy A.; Van Buuren, Stef
April 2015
European Journal of Public Health;Apr2015, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p268
Academic Journal
Background: Although children both at the upper and lower tail of the body mass index (BMI) distribution are at greater health risk, relatively little is known about the development of thinness prevalence rates in developed countries over time. We studied trends in childhood thinness and assessed changes in the BMI distribution since the onset of the obesity epidemic. Methods: Growth data from 54 814 children aged 2-18 years of Dutch, Turkish and Moroccan origin living in The Netherlands were used. Anthropometric measurements were performed during nationwide cross-sectional growth studies in 1980 (only Dutch), 1997 and 2009. Prevalence rates of thinness grades I, II and III were calculated according to international cut-offs. BMI distributions for 1980, 1997 and 2009 were compared. Results: Since 1980, thinness (all grades combined) reduced significantly from 14.0% to 9.8% in children of Dutch origin, but the proportion of extremely thin children (grade III) remained constant. Thinness in children of Moroccan origin decreased significantly from 8.8% to 6.2% between 1997 and 2009. No significant difference was observed in children of Turkish origin (5.4% in 1997 vs. 5.7% in 2009). Thinness occurred most often in children aged 2-5 years. There were no differences between boys and girls. The BMI distribution widened since 1980, mainly due to an upward shift of the upper centiles. Conclusion: Since the onset of the obesity epidemic, prevalence rates of thinness decreased. However, we found a small but persistent group of extremely thin children. More research is needed to gain insight into their health status.


Related Articles

  • A Cross-Sectional Study on Risk Factors of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Shidu Parents of the Sichuan Earthquake. Wang, Ziqi; Xu, Jiuping // Journal of Child & Family Studies;Sep2016, Vol. 25 Issue 9, p2915 

    Of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake survivors, there was a special group known as Shidu parents, who lost their only child in the disaster. The objective of this study was to estimate the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence in the Shidu parents from different counties and explore the...

  • Inverse association between dietary habits with high total antioxidant capacity and prevalence of frailty among elderly Japanese women: A multicenter cross-sectional study. Kobayashi, S.; Asakura, K.; Suga, H.; Sasaki, S. // Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging;Sep2014, Vol. 18 Issue 9, p827 

    Objective: To examine the association of dietary habits with high total antioxidant capacity (TAC) with frailty among elderly Japanese women. Design: Cross-sectional multicenter study. Setting: Thirty-five of 47 prefectures in Japan. Participants: 2121 grandmothers or acquaintances of dietetic...

  • Does workplace violence exist in primary health care? Evidence from Serbia. Fisekovic, Marina B.; Trajkovic, Goran Z.; Bjegovic-Mikanovic, Vesna M.; Terzic-Supic, Zorica J. // European Journal of Public Health;Aug2015, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p693 

    Background: Violence in the workplace is a serious social and public health problem. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of workplace violence and to identify potential predictors of workplace violence at Serbian Primary Health Care (PHC) centres. Methods: A...

  • PUBLIC HEALTH. Prevalence of Lifestyle-Related Risk Factors Contributing to Non-Communicable Diseases among Adolescents in Tarqumia, Palestine. Ghrayeb, Farid AW.; Mohamed Rusli A.; Al Rifai, Ayesha; Mohd Ismail I. // International Medical Journal;Jun2014, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p272 

    Introduction: Unhealthy dietary habits, sedentary life and physical inactivity are considered the contributing factors to adolescence overweight and obesity. Consequently, overweight and obesity have been considered the most contributing predisposing factors for many non-communicable diseases....

  • Food Consumption Patterns of Balearic Islands' Adolescents Depending on Their Origin. Llull, Rosa; Bibiloni, Mar; Pons, Antoni; Tur, Josep // Journal of Immigrant & Minority Health;Apr2015, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p358 

    Over the last decade, the immigrant population of the Balearic Islands archipelago (Spain), in the Mediterranean, has risen to 22 % of its total population. The aim of this study was to assess food consumption patterns among Balearic Islands' adolescents depending on their origin. A...

  • Trends in overweight prevalence among 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds in 25 countries in Europe, Canada and USA from 2002 to 2010. Ahluwalia, Namanjeet; Dalmasso, Paola; Rasmussen, Mette; Lipsky, Leah; Currie, Candace; Haug, Ellen; Kelly, Colette; Damsgaard, Mogens Trab; Due, Pernille; Tabak, Izabela; Ercan, Oya; Maes, Lea; Aasvee, Katrin; Cavallo, Franco // European Journal of Public Health;2015 Supplement, Vol. 25 Issue suppl_2, p28 

    Background: The purpose of this study was to assess recent changes in the prevalence of overweight (including obesity) among 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds in 33 countries from 2002 to 2010. Methods: Data from 25 countries from three consecutive survey cycles (2002, 2006 and 2010) that had at least...

  • Nutritional status and dietary habits in preschool-age children. Lourenço, Margarida; Santos, Célia; do Carmo, Isabel // Revista de Enfermagem Referência;fev/mar2014, Vol. 4 Issue 1, p7 

    Context: The prevalence of childhood obesity continues to increase worldwide. Its consequences are dramatic, and are associated with a higher probability of premature death and disability in adult life. This situation is so alarming that it is considered one of the greatest health challenges in...

  • Feed First, Ask Questions Later: Alleviating and Understanding Caregiver Food Insecurity in an Urban Children's Hospital. Makelarski, Jennifer A.; Thorngren, Daniel; Lindau, Stacy Tessler // American Journal of Public Health;Aug2015, Vol. 105 Issue 8, pe98 

    Objectives. We estimated the prevalence of caregiver hospital food insecurity (defined as not getting enough to eat during a child's hospitalization), examined associations between food insecurity and barriers to food access, and propose a conceptual framework to inform remedies to this problem....

  • The contribution of perceived ethnic discrimination to the prevalence of depression. Ikram, Umar Z.; Snijder, Marieke B.; Fassaert, Thijs J. L.; Schene, Aart H.; Kunst, Anton E.; Stronks, Karien // European Journal of Public Health;Apr2015, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p243 

    Background: European research on the association between perceived ethnic discrimination (PED) and health is importantly lacking. It is also unknown how much PED contributes to disease prevalence. In this study, we quantified the contribution of PED to depression in five ethnic groups in a...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics