The growing prevalence rate of pediatric obesity, which is frequently accompanied by several cardiometabolic risk factors, has become a serious global health issue. To date, little is known regarding differences for cardiometabolic risk factors (prevalence and means) in children from different countries. In the present review, we aimed to provide a review for the available evidence regarding cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight pediatric populations. We therefore provided information with respect to the prevalence of impaired fasting glucose/impaired glucose tolerance, high triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol and hypertension (components of the metabolic syndrome) among cohorts from different countries. Moreover, we aimed to compare the means of glucose and lipid levels (triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol) and systolic/diastolic blood pressure values. After careful selection of articles describing cohorts with comparable age and sex, it was shown that both prevalence rates and mean values of cardiometabolic risk factors varied largely among cohorts of overweight children. After ranking for high/low means for each cardiometabolic risk parameter, Dutch-Turkish children and children from Turkey, Hungary, Greece, Germany and Poland were in the tertile with the most unfavorable risk factor profile overall. In contrast, cohorts from Norway, Japan, Belgium, France and the Dominican Republic were in the tertile with most favorable risk profile. These results should be taken with caution, given the heterogeneity of the relatively small, mostly clinical cohorts and the lack of information concerning the influence of the values of risk parameters on true cardiometabolic outcome measures in comparable cohorts. The results of our review present a fair estimation of the true differences between cardiometabolic risk profiles among pediatric cohorts worldwide, based on available literature. © 2011 van Vliet et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.