Prevalence of childhood and adolescent overweight and obesity in Asian countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Review article, 2018

Introduction: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children (aged 5-12 years) and adolescents (aged 12-19 years) in Asian countries. Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Material and methods: We comprehensively searched specialised databases for relevant studies conducted in Asian countries between January 1, 1999, and May 30, 2017. Random effects models (using the DerSimonian-Laird method) and generic inverse variance methods were used for quantitative data synthesis. Sensitivity analysis was conducted using the 'leave-one-out' method. Heterogeneity was quantitatively assessed using the I2 index. Systematic review registration: CRD42016033061. Results: Among 22,286 identified citations, 41 studies met the inclusion criteria with n = 71,998 and n = 353,513 for children and adolescents. The pooled prevalence (overall, boys and girls) was 5.8% (n = 4175), 7.0% (n = 2631) and 4.8% (n = 1651) for obesity in children aged 5-11 years; 8.6% (n = 30,402), 10.1% (n = 17,990) and 6.2% (n = 10,874) for obesity in adolescents age 12-19 years. For overweight in children the values for overall, boys and girls were 11.2% (n = 7900), 11.7% (n = 4280) and 10.9% (n = 3698) respectively; and for overweight in adolescents, 14.6% (n = 46,886), 15.9% (27,183), and 13.7% (20,574). These findings were robust in sensitivity analyses. In children and adolescents a higher percentage of boys than girls are obese (children = 7.0 vs. 4.8%, adolescents = 10.1 vs. 6.2%, p < 0.001, respectively). Furthermore, in children and adolescents a higher percentage of boys than girls are overweight (children = 11.7 vs. 10.9%, adolescents = 15.9 vs. 13.7%, p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions: In view of the number of children who are overweight or obese, the associated detrimental effects on health, and the cost to health-care systems, implementation of programmes to monitor and prevent unhealthy weight gain in children and adolescents is needed throughout Asian countries.






Mohsen Mazidi

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science

Maciej Banach

Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital Research Institute

Medical University of Lodz

University of Zielona Góra

Andre Pascal Kengne

University of Cape Town

Archives of Medical Science

1734-1922 (ISSN) 18969151 (eISSN)

Vol. 14 6 1185-1203

Subject Categories

Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)


Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology



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