More overweight and obese children in deprived areas

22 May 2020

Overweight and obesity rates in children and adolescents have slightly decreased during the past decade, but risen among those in disadvantaged and deprived areas.

Researchers studying the period 2006 to 2016 saw rates fall from 40% to 38% in girls aged six to 11 years and from 42% to 40% in boys the same age. However, prevalence rates rose in the most deprived urban areas and in children of non-Spanish nationalities.

The research, published in JAMA Network Open, analysed data from more than one million children in Catalonia, divided into three age groups: two to five years, six to 11 years, and 12 to 17 years.

In areas with lower socioeconomic levels, rates of overweight and/or obesity increased slightly, whereas wealthier areas saw a significant decrease.

The obesity rate in girls aged six to 11 fell by 15.8% in neighbourhoods with the highest socioeconomic level but increased by 7.3% among the most disadvantaged.