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Overweight and obesity in adults (Indicator 14)

Published

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The indicator describes the following: Prevalence of overweight and obesity in adults.


This indicator is part of Target (7): Halt the rise in diabetes and obesity.

To find out the percentage with overweight and obesity, height and weight measurements of the general population must be taken. This is done in the Health Surveys in Tromsø and Nord-Trøndelag. Body mass index is used as a measure of overweight and obesity and is defined as weight/height2. The threshold for overweight is a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. The threshold for obesity is a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2

Results

The prevalence of adults with overweight and obesity has increased between the mid-1980s and 2016. This is explained by the fact that the proportion with obesity has increased while the proportion with overweight appears to be more stable. This is shown by the height and weight measurements taken from the population in Tromsø and Nord Trøndelag. 

overweight men tromso NCD.jpg

Figure 1Proportion of men aged 40-79 with overweight and obesity in Tromsø, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Tromsø Study. See Table 1 below. 

overweight women tromso NCD.jpg

Figure 2Proportion of women aged 40-79 with overweight and obesity in Tromsø, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Tromsø Study. See Table 2 below. 

overweight men NT NCD.jpg

Figure 3Proportion of men aged 20 and older with overweight and obesity in Nord Trøndelag, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT). See Table 3 below. 

overweight women NT NCD.jpg

Figure 4Proportion of women aged 20 and older with overweight and obesity in Nord Trøndelag, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT). See Table 4 below. 

Data sources

The data sources for this indicator are the Tromsø Study and HUNT.

A description and definitions follow below.

Data source: Tromsø Study

Description  

The Tromsø Study started in 1974 and consists of repeated health checks on Tromsø municipality’s population. The last two studies are particularly relevant to the period WHO would like Member States to report on: 2010-2025. Tromsø 6 (2007-2008) included almost 13 000 adults between the ages of 30 and 87, and had an attendance rate of 63 per cent. Tromsø 7 (2015-2016) included more than 21 000 adults aged 40 and older, and had an attendance rate of 65 per cent.

Effect measure 

  • The prevalence of overweight within 10-year age groups of men and women, as a percentage.
  • The prevalence of obesity within 10-year age groups of men and women, as a percentage. 

Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Body mass index is defined as:

weight in kilograms / (height in metres)2

The data are age-standardised to the age distribution of the Norwegian population as of 1 January 2000. 

Interpretation and sources of error 

The proportion of individuals attending health checks has gradually declined over time. The figures and tables we present do not include any assessment of the implications of changes in the attendance rate. 

Data source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT)

Description  

The Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT) began with HUNT1 in 1984-86 and consists of repeated health checks performed on the population of Nord Trøndelag county. The last two studies are particularly relevant to the period WHO would like Member States to report on: 2010-2025. HUNT2 (1995-97) covered over 65,000 individuals aged 20 and older and had an attendance rate of 70 per cent. HUNT3 (2006-08) covered over 51000 individuals aged 20 and older and had an attendance rate of 54 per cent. HUNT4 is being conducted between 2017 and 2019 and will contribute new data.

Effect measure 

  • Prevalence of overweight among men and women aged 20 and older, as a percentage.
  • Prevalence of obesity among men and women aged 20 and older, as a percentage. 

Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Body mass index is calculated based on:
weight in kilograms / (height in metres)2. 

The data are age-standardised to the age distribution of the Norwegian population as of 1 January 2000. 

Interpretation and sources of error 

The proportion of individuals attending health checks has gradually declined over time. The figures and tables we present do not include any assessment of the possible implications of changes in the attendance rate. 

Tables accompanying the figures

 

2007–08

2015–16

Overweight

51.2

50.8

Obesity

20.2

25.5

Overweight and obesity

71.4

76.3

Table 1Proportion of men aged 40-79 with overweight and obesity in Tromsø, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Tromsø Study.  

 

2007–08

2015–16

Overweight

38.0

37.0

Obesity

19.5

23.0

Overweight and obesity

57.5

60.0

Table 2Proportion of women aged 40-79 with overweight and obesity in Tromsø, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Tromsø Study.  

 

1984–86

1995–97

2006–08

Overweight

41.4

49.5

49.9

Obesity

7.5

13.8

21.1

Overweight and obesity

48.9

63.3

71.0

Table 3Proportion of men aged 20 and older with overweight and obesity in Nord Trøndelag, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT). 

 

1984–86

1995–97

2006–08

Overweight

29.0

36.3

35.7

Obesity

12.5

17.7

22.0

Overweight and obesity

41.5

54.0

57.7

Table 4Proportion of women aged 20 and older with overweight and obesity in Nord Trøndelag, as a percentage, age-standardised. Overweight is defined as a BMI of ≥ 25 kg/m2. Obesity is defined as a BMI of ≥ 30 kg/m2. Source: Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT).

Global indicator definition

WHO’s definition of the indicator

Indicator 14. Age-standardised prevalence of overweight and obesity among persons aged 18+ years. 

Authors and contacts

Text compiled by the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in collaboration with the Tromsø Study at the University of Tromsø, the Health Survey in Nord Trøndelag (HUNT) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).