Childhood obesity continues to increase in Spain

Childhood obesity is reaching alarming levels within the Spanish population

Some 34% of the Spanish population between 3 and 24 years old is overweight or obese, a figure that rises to almost 40% in the case of children between 3 and 8 years old.  By contrast, in 1984 childhood obesity levels were at 3%.

These data were provided to us in 2020 by the Nutritional Study of the Spanish Population (ENPE), published in the Revista Española de Cardiología1, the official publication of the Spanish Society of Cardiology. [1]  The ENPE study investigated the prevalence of obesity in all ages, but the data regarding children are especially concerning.

Obesity in children and adolescents carries significant physical and emotional health problems which can accompany them throughout their lives.  These children not only have increased risks of developing cancer, as we mentioned in a previous post, but excess body weight and obesity are also associated with diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The first author of the study, Dr. Javier Aranceta, interviewed by the Revista Española de Cardiología, commented that he would like to investigate “dietary determinants of obesity and excess weight in the Spanish population”. [2]  In the ENPE study, physical measurements of the participants such as weight, height, and other physical characteristics were recorded, but not their diet, lifestyle, or consumption habits.

In an upcoming news post we will talk about the ALADINO study, carried out by the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Spanish Agency for Food Safety (AESAN), which investigated the causes and distribution of childhood obesity in Spain.


Alberto Benito Martín

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