Worsening trend of central obesity despite stable or declining body mass index in Hong Kong Chinese between 1996 and 2005


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Abstract

We analyzed the obesity trends in Hong Kong using data from a health assessment program. We recruited 84 357 subjects (27 452 men and 56 905 women; age: mean±s.d. 49.0±14.7 years, range 20–98 years) in three phases: (1) April 1996 to August 1997 (n=17 119); (2) February 2001 to December 2002 (n=16 978); and (3) January 2004 to December 2005 (n=50 260). Waist circumferences were available only in phases 2 and 3. Central obesity was defined as waist ≥90 cm in men and ≥80cm in women. Overweight and obesity (general) were defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥23 and ≥25 kg/m2, respectively. The age-standardized rate (95% CI) of general obesity was stable in men (31.6% (29.6, 33.7) in 1996 vs 31.0% (30.0, 32.0) in 2005, P: NS) but declined in women (22.4% (21.3, 23.5) in 1996 vs 18.8% (18.2, 19.4) in 2005, P<0.05). The prevalence of central obesity increased from 23.0% (20.6, 25.4) in 2001 to 26.9% (26.0, 27.8) in 2005 in men (P<0.05) and remained stable in women, with corresponding rates of 27.5% (25.8, 29.3) and 26.6% (26.0, 27.3), respectively (P: NS). In summary, despite stable or declining BMI, age-standardized central obesity failed to decline in Hong Kong Chinese women and continued to increase in Chinese men over a 10-year period.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010) 64, 549–552; published online 24 March 2010

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