1 Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, México; 2 Centro de Investigación en Matemáticas A.C. Unidad Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes, México.
Overweight and obesity (OW+OB) prevalence has increased in all age groups throughout most countries in the last decades, with childhood obesity representing a public health challenge. Objective: To provide current estimates of the prevalence and trends of OW+OB in Mexican children and adolescents. Methods: Analysis of height and weight measurements from 37,147 children and adolescents aged birth to 19 years obtained in 2012 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Survey, a nationally representative sample of the Mexican population. In addition, data from previous National Nutrition Surveys obtained in 1988, 1999 and 2006 were compared to analyze trends in 13-24 years periods. Results: In 2012 33.5% of children < 5y (combined sexes) were at risk of overweight (RO) or were overweight (OW) (RO+OW), 32% and 36.9% of girls and boys 5-11y, respectively, were OW or obese (OB) (OW+OB) and, 35.8% and 34.1% of female and male adolescents, respectively, were OW+OB. Statistically significant trends were documented for all age groups over the study period. The change in RO+OW in preschool-age girls was +0.76 percentage points/year (pp/y) from 1988 to 1999, -0.87 pp/y from 1999 to 2006 and +0.65 from 2006 to 2012; whereas for school-age girls and adolescents females OW+OB increased across all periods at a declining trend, with an overall change of 0.5 pp/y and 1.0pp/y, respectively. Changes in the prevalence of overweight and obesity was highest among children and adolescents in the lowest quintile of household living condition index. Conclusions: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents increased significantly during the 24 years for which information is available, showing a decline in the rate of increase in the last 6 years in all age groups.