2016 Volume 26 Issue 4 Pages 199-207
Background: During the last several decades, the number of children who are overweight or obese has reached alarming levels worldwide. The purpose of the present study was to examine trends in measures of childhood obesity among Korean children aged 2–19 from 1998 to 2012.
Methods: Height, weight, and waist circumference (WC) were measured, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Age-adjusted means of WC and BMI were compared between years. We used three international criteria (International Obesity Task Force [IOTF], World Health Organization [WHO], United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]) and a Korean national reference standard (Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [KCDC]) to calculate age-standardized prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity.
Results: Despite differences in absolute prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity according to the four different criteria, the time trends of prevalence were generally similar across criteria. The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity generally stabilized from 2001–2012 in both boys and girls. WC decreased from 2001–2012 in both boys and girls aged 2–19.
Conclusions: Further studies exploring the factors causing plateaued trends of childhood obesity measures are needed to implement effective policies for reducing the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity.