We aimed to explore the prevalence and determinants of overweight including obesity among children in Sweden in 2003 and 2011.
Two population-based cross-sectional surveys included 7728 and 12 882 12-year-old children in Sweden, and 1198 and 2699 eight-year-old children in Stockholm County, in 2003 and 2011. Weighted prevalence of overweight including obesity and multivariate-adjusted relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) was calculated.
In 2011, the overweight prevalence was lower for 12-year-old girls than boys (RR=0.84, CI=0.77-0.92), lower for girls and boys with a higher rather than a lower educated mother (for example, RRgirls =0.76, CI=0.65-0.88), but higher for girls and boys in smaller rather than main cities (RRgirls =1.52, CI=1.28-1.82). There was no difference in overweight prevalence between 2003 and 2011 among the 12-year-old children. However, eight-year-old girls had a lower overweight prevalence in 2011 than in 2003 (RR=0.76, CI=0.59-0.97). The strongest decrease in overweight was among eight-year-old girls with mothers with lower levels of education (RR=0.63, CI=0.47-0.86).
The prevalence of overweight including obesity was stable among Swedish children between 2003 and 2011. Gradients in the determinants of overweight persisted. There was some evidence of a less steep socio-economic gradient in overweight in eight-year-old girls over time.