Background: The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing rapidly in most industrialised countries, but several countries, including Switzerland, have recently reported a levelling off or even a reversal of this alarming trend. Study aim: Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence of childhood obesity in a national sample of Swiss school children recruited to assess iodine nutrition and with this to reconfirm a recently shown stabilising trend. Design: Using a probability-proportionate-to-size cluster sampling, 6 to 12 year old children (n = 907) were recruited in a study of iodine status in Switzerland. Height and weight were measured and Body Mass Index calculated in all children. Results: The prevalence of overweight detected was 12.5% (SE = 1.6) in boys and 12.8% (1.6) in girls while 6.2% (1.1) of boys and 4.2% (0.9) of girls were classified as obese. The highest prevalence of overweight and obesity were found in the Southern region and in bigger cities (>100 000 inhabitants). Compared to the most recent national study in 2007, the prevalence was slightly higher, but the differences were not significant, suggesting negative sampling bias does not strongly affect surveys of paediatric adiposity in Switzerland. Conclusion: This present study clearly confirms the stabilisation of the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity in Switzerland.
- body-mass index