Overweight and obesity prevalence and determinants in Italy: An update to 2010

Silvano Gallus, Anna Odone, Alessandra Lugo, Cristina Bosetti, Paolo Colombo, Piergiorgio Zuccaro, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To provide updated information on trends and determinants of underweight, overweight, and obesity in Italian adults. Methods: We considered data from 5 surveys conducted annually between 2006 and 2010, on a total of 14,135 subjects aged 18 years or more (6,834 men and 7,301 women), representative of the Italian adult population, including self-reported information on height and weight. Results: Overall, 3.1 % of the Italian adult population was underweight (body mass index, BMI, 2; 0.8 % men, 5.3 % women), 31.8 % overweight (25≤ BMI 2; 39.8 % men, 24.4 % women), and 8.9 % obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2; 8.5 % men, 9.4 % women). We observed no specific pattern of overweight/obesity across calendar years in men (multivariate prevalence ratios, PR, for 2010 vs 2006: 0.95; p for trend: 0.980) and a non-significant decreased trend in women (PR: 0.92; p for trend: 0.051). Prevalence of overweight/obesity significantly increased with age (PRs for ≥65 vs 18-24 years: 2.01 in men, 2.65 in women), decreased with education (PRs for high vs low education: 0.79 in men, 0.54 in women), and was less frequent in single than in married adults (PRs: 0.85 in men, 0.78 in women). Overweight/obesity was significantly more frequent in adults from southern versus northern Italy (PRs: 1.13 in men, 1.32 in women) and in former versus never smokers (PRs: 1.23 in men, 1.19 in women). Conclusions: In Italy, we did not find unfavorable trends in overweight and obesity prevalence across calendar years. However, there are specific subgroups of the population with elevated prevalence of overweight and obesity, mainly adults from southern Italy and less educated ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • BMI
  • Italy
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Trend
  • Underweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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