To assess the prevalence of overweight, obesity and physical inactivity in 20- to 29-year-old men and to analyze whether sociodemography, physical dysfunction and low socioeconomic status are independent correlates of obesity and physical inactivity.Design:
Population-based, cross-sectional study.Subjects:
Seven hundred and eighty-three Caucasian, Danish men, aged 20-29 years recruited from 2042 respondents in a questionnaire survey of 3000 men, randomly drawn from the Danish Civil Registration System.Methods:
Questionnaire, interview and physical examination.Results:
The 783 included men and the 2042 questionnaire respondents matched the background population demographically. The 783 men matched the questionnaire respondents as regards BMI, physical activity, chronic disease, medication, smoking, sociodemography and socioeconomic status. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 31.7 and 7.9%, respectively (World Health Organization criteria). Using waist circumference (WC) cutoffs of 94 and 102 cm, the prevalence was 16.2 and 10.6%, respectively; 24.4% were physically inactive. BMI and WC increased significantly from age 20 to 29 years. Physical activity decreased significantly with age and correlated inversely with WC, but not with BMI. Occupation, geography, partner status, fatherhood and tobacco exposure were independently related with obesity and physical inactivity. Obesity was also related to musculoskeletal complaints, whereas chronic diseases and low educational level were associated with physical inactivity. Age was not independently related with either outcome.Conclusion:
In affluent societies, sociodemographic changes may partly explain the age-related decrease in physical activity and the parallel increase in WC and BMI.