Objective To study on the prevalence of body overweight and obesity in China and its distribution in age, sex and economic development status. Methods A total of 209849 in all ages from the 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey （NNAHS） database were analyzed. The year 2000 population census data was used for age standardization. 1978 WHO criteria using Z scores was applied to age 0-7 years, criteria recommended by the Working Group on Obesity in China was applied to those aged 7-17 years and criteria in the Guidelines for Prevention and Control of Overweight and Obesity in Chinese Adults was applied to those aged 18 years and above. Results The overall prevalence was 17.6% for overweight and 5.6% for obesity. The combined prevalence of overweight and obesity was 23.2%. The prevalence of overweight was 25.0%, 21.6%, 17.4%, 15.1%, 19.2% and 12.8%, respectively for large city, middle-and-small city, class 1 rural, class 2 rural, class 3 rural and class 4 rural. For obesity, the rate was 10.6%, 7.2%, 6.4%, 4.3%, 6.0% and 2.7%, respectively for large city, middle-and- small city, class 1 rural, class 2 rural, class 3 rural and class 4 rural. By age groups, the prevalence of overweight was 3.4% in children age 0-6, 4.5% in adolescents age 7-17, 22.8% in adults age 18 and above; the prevalence of obesity was 2.0% in children age 0-6, 2.7% in adolescents age 7-17, 7.1% in adults age 18 and above. The sex difference in overweight and obesity differed between urban and rural, and among age groups. Conclusion Overweight and obesity should have affected nearly 1 quarter of the country＇s total population, and became a threatening hazard to resident＇s health. As the urbanization progress, obesity might doubly increase. Prevention and control of this hazard should be urgently needed.
Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine