Objective. To analyze the temporal trends of obesity over time among male adolescents of different ethnic origins. Methods. Population-based national data of subjects presenting at recruitment centers for medical examinations as part of screening for military draft. Subjects were 17-year-old Jewish males (n=1 140 937) born in the years 19501986. Data on body mass index (BMI) were measured (without clothing and shoes) by physicians. We calculated the prevalence of obesity (BMI 29.4 or higher) for each year by ethnic origin group. A Multinomial logistic regression model was used to estimate the effects of ethnic origin and other risk factors on the likelihood of obesity. Results. Over time, obesity rates have risen among all ethnic groups of adolescents. Multinomial regression analysis showed a lower likelihood of obesity among those of Asia-Africa origin as compared with other groups. However, obesity rates have increased more significantly over time among this ethnic group compared with the other groups. Conclusion. A significant finding of this study is the disparities in temporal trends in the likelihood of obesity over time. Among adolescents of Asia-Africa origin the likelihood of obesity increased more steeply over time compared with other groups of adolescents. Health services in Israel should thus consider Asia-African origin as a distinct risk factor and target interventions to prevent future obesity among these adolescents.
- Population based data