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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 410259, 8 pages
Research Article

Prevalence and Trends of Obesity and Association with Socioeconomic Status in Thai Adults: National Health Examination Surveys, 1991–2009

1Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Rajdhevi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
2National Health Examination Survey Office, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
3Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
4Epidemiology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla 90110, Thailand
5Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50002, Thailand
6Ramathibodi School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
7College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Received 16 November 2013; Accepted 5 February 2014; Published 17 March 2014

Academic Editor: Terry Huang

Copyright © 2014 Wichai Aekplakorn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We determined the prevalence of obesity in Thai adults aged 20 and over in 2009 and examined trends of body mass index (BMI) between 1991 and 2009. Data from Thai National Health Examination Survey for 19,181 adults in 2009 and 64,480 adults between 1991 and 2004 were used to calculate age-adjusted mean and prevalence. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of obesity with education level. In 2009, age-adjusted prevalence of obesity classes I (BMI 25–29.9 kg/m2) and II (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) in Thai adults aged ≥20 years were 26.0% and 9.0%, respectively. Compared with primary education, the odds of obesity class I were highest in men with university education. For women, the odds of obesity classes I and II were highest in those with primary education. BMI significantly increased from 21.6 kg/m2 in men and 22.8 kg/m2 in women in 1991 to 23.3 kg/m2 and 24.4 kg/m2 in 2009, respectively. The average BMI increases per decade were highest in men with secondary education (1.0 kg/m2, ) and in women with primary education with the same rate. There were increasing trends in BMI with slight variation by SES groups in Thai men and women during 1991–2009.