Prevalence of obesity – baseline assessment in the prospective cohort ‘PONS’ study
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Wroclaw Medical University, Department of Social Medicine, Wroclaw, Poland
Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, the Maria Sklodowska-Curie Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Wroclaw Medical University, Department of Dietetics, Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw Medical University, Department of Food Science and Dietetics, Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw Medical University, Department of Internal Medicine, Wroclaw, Poland
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, University Medical Center Trondheim, Norway
Laboratory of Functional Diagnostics, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Health Promotion, Food and Nutrition, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
European Health Inequalities Observatory, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2011;18(2):246–250
The aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the population of Świętokrzyskie Province in Poland.

Material and Methods:
Body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist circumference (WC) in the Polish-Norwegian Study (PONS) was measured in 2,567 females and 1,287 males. Anthropometric measurements included fat mass, height, weight, waist and hip circumference. BMI and WHR were calculated.

Data showed that 52% of males and 42% of females were overweight (25.0≤BMI<30.0 kg/m2), and the prevalence of obesity (BMI≥30.0 kg/m2) was 35% in both genders. The average BMI was higher in males (28.5 kg/m2) than in females (28.2 kg/m2). Analysis of WC showed that 36% of males and 45% of females had abdominal obesity, whereas measurements of WHR showed abdominal obesity in 64% of males and 79% of females. Generally, the prevalence of obesity was higher in the older age group (55-64 years) and in rural inhabitants. The prevalence of overweight increased with educational level, but the prevalence of obesity decreased with level of education in both males and females.

Almost 80% of the PONS population were either overweight or obese; therefore, the PONS population is at increased risk of developing obesity-related diseases.

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