The prevalence of juvenile excess weight keeps growing in the more developed world (WHO, 1998). The aim of the study was to compare the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Hungarian schoolboys in 1980 and 2005.
Two independent representative data collections were performed in volunteer boys aged between 6.51 and 18.50 years in the same 90 settlements of the country in 1980 (n=13,061) and 2005 (n=13,060). Height, body mass, and five skinfolds were measured by the same investigators in both instances. Overweight and obesity were estimated by using BMI (Cole et al., 2000), respectively skinfold thicknesses (Parízková, 1961).
The pair-wise differences between height means were consistently significant in the 12 age groups studied. Body mass differences were not exactly proportionate with height. The boys of 2005 had significantly more relative body fat than those of 1980. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was remarkably higher in 2005.
Taller height and a part of the heavier body mass in 2005 was attributed to a positive secular growth trend. The increases in BMI and fat content are negative consequences of a markedly changed lifestyle associated with inactivity and dietary habits. Because of its public health importance the trends of childhood obesity should be closely monitored.
2008 Japan Society of Physiological Anthropology