[Anthropometric data and obesity]

K E Bergmann, G B Mensink
Das Gesundheitswesen 1999, 61: S115-20
In the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 several anthropometric data were obtained from 7124 men and women, aged 18-79 years. These data were analysed and compared with 1990/92 survey data. On average, people form the Western part of Germany are somewhat taller than those from the Eastern part, the differences being smallest in the youngest age group. With the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI) as the criterion, the prevalence of overweight (BMI > or = 25 kg/m2) ranges from 52% for West German women to 67% for West German men, and of obesity (BMI < or = 30 kg/m2) from 18% for West German men to 24.5% for East German women. Generally, overweight is more prevalent in the East than in the West. In the male population, aged 25-69 years, the prevalence of obesity increased by 5.9% in the East and by 11.5% in the West during the last decade. Among females the prevalence of obesity increased by 6.4% in the West, but decreased by 6.3% in the East. Still obesity is more prevalent among East German females. Since obesity is a key health risk, these recent German prevalence figures are alarming.

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