Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) is a unique system to measure trends in overweight and obesity among primary school-aged children.
Activities in Portugal – regional coordination of the Programme in the Public Health Department of the Northern Regional Health Administration.
According to preliminary data from the 5th phase of COSI Portugal, a child nutrition surveillance system integrated in the WHO / Europe Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative study, from 2008 to 2019 there was a reduction of 8.3% (37.9% to 29.6%) and 3.3% (15.3% to 12.0%) in the prevalence of overweight and childhood obesity, respectively. Between 2008 (1st round) and 2019 (5th round), all Portuguese regions showed a decrease in the prevalence of overweight (including obesity). This decrease was most marked in the Azores Region, with a decrease of 10.7% (46.6% in 2008 vs 35.9% in 2019), and in the Centro region (38.1% in 2008 vs 28.9 % in 2019), with a decrease in prevalence of 9.2% in the last 11 years. Regarding only the COSI Portugal 2019 study, it was observed that the Algarve Region had the lowest prevalence of overweight (21.8%) and the Azores had the highest prevalence (35.9%). The Alentejo Region had the lowest prevalence of childhood obesity (9.7%). Also according to preliminary data from this study, the prevalence of underweight was 1.3%, the prevalence of overweight (pre-obesity + obesity) was 29.6% and of these 12% had childhood obesity. COSI Portugal 2019 also reveals that the prevalence of underweight was higher in boys (1.6%) compared to girls (0.9%). Equally overweight and childhood obesity was more prevalent in boys (29.6% – 13.4%) than in girls (29.5% – 10.6%), respectively. Similar to previous rounds, the prevalence of childhood obesity was found to increase with age. In 2018/2019, 15.3% of 8-year-olds were obese, including 5.4% of severe obesity, compared with 6-year-olds who had 10.8% of obesity, including 2.7% of severe obesity. In the 5th round COSI Portugal, held during the school year 2018/2019, 8844 children from elementary schools in the regions of Portugal were proposed, and 7210 children (48.9% girls and 51.1% boys) were evaluated. , between 6 and 8 years old, from 228 participating schools. This sample is the largest of all phases so far (2008, n = 3765; 2010, n = 4064; 2013, n = 5935; 2016, n = 6745).