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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Updated prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in 11- to 17-year-old adolescents in Germany. Results from the telephone-based KiGGS Wave 1 after correction for bias in self-reports

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Anna-Kristin Brettschneidera, Angelika Schaffrath Rosario, Ronny Kuhnert, Steffen Schmidt, Susanna Wiegand, Ute Ellert, Bärbel-Maria Kurth
Wichtige Hinweise
Ute Ellert and Bärbel-Maria Kurth contributed equally to this work.
An erratum to this article can be found at http://​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12889-016-2855-x.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

AKB performed the statistical analyses and wrote the manuscript. ASR, BMK and UE made substantial contributions, revised the manuscript critically and counselled AKB on statistical questions. BMK is the principal investigator of KiGGS and developed together with UE the correction procedure applied in this article. AKB, ASR, RK and UE were involved in data assessment and data-validation process. ASR and RK developed the weighing factor. SS is contributor of the ‘Motorik Modul’ MoMo and was involved in data collection and data assessment. SW revised the manuscript critically. All authors have read and approved the final version.



The nationwide “German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents” (KiGGS), conducted in 2003–2006, showed an increase in the prevalence rates of overweight and obesity compared to the early 1990s, indicating the need for regularly monitoring. Recently, a follow-up—KiGGS Wave 1 (2009–2012)—was carried out as a telephone-based survey, providing self-reported height and weight. Since self-reports lead to a bias in prevalence rates of weight status, a correction is needed. The aim of the present study is to obtain updated prevalence rates for overweight and obesity for 11- to 17-year olds living in Germany after correction for bias in self-reports.


In KiGGS Wave 1, self-reported height and weight were collected from 4948 adolescents during a telephone interview. Participants were also asked about their body perception. From a subsample of KiGGS Wave 1 participants, measurements for height and weight were collected in a physical examination. In order to correct prevalence rates derived from self-reports, weight status categories based on self-reported and measured height and weight were used to estimate a correction formula according to an established procedure under consideration of body perception. The correction procedure was applied and corrected rates were estimated.


The corrected prevalence of overweight, including obesity, derived from KiGGS Wave 1, showed that the rate has not further increased compared to the KiGGS baseline survey (18.9 % vs. 18.8 % based on the German reference).


The rates of overweight still remain at a high level. The results of KiGGS Wave 1 emphasise the significance of this health issue and the need for prevention of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents.
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