Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prevalence of high body mass index among children and teens remains steady

Date:
January 17, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
The prevalence of high weight among children and teens in the US (i.e., at or above the 95th percentile), ranges from approximately 10 percent to 18 percent, although these rates appear to have remained relatively stable over the past 10 years, except for an increase for 6- to 19-year-old boys who are at the very heaviest weight levels, according to a new study.

The prevalence of high weight for length or high body mass index (BMI) among children and teens in the U.S. (i.e., at or above the 95th percentile), ranges from approximately 10 percent for infants and toddlers, to approximately 18 percent for adolescents and teenagers, although these rates appear to have remained relatively stable over the past 10 years, except for an increase for 6- to 19-year-old boys who are at the very heaviest weight levels, according to a study appearing in the January 20 issue of JAMA.

The study is being published early online because of its public health importance.

"High BMI among children and adolescents continues to be a public health concern in the United States. Children with high BMI often become obese adults, and obese adults are at risk for many chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers," the authors write. "Since 1980, the prevalence of BMI for age at or above the 95th percentile (sometimes termed 'obese') has tripled among school-age children and adolescents, and it remains high at approximately 17 percent. However, the prevalence of BMI for age at or above the 95th percentile among children and adolescents showed no significant changes between 1999 and 2006 for both boys and girls or among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Mexican American individuals."

Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues used 2007-2008 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population) to determine the most recent estimates of prevalence of high BMI among children and adolescents ages 2 through 19 years and high weight for recumbent length among infants and toddlers. The researchers also examined trends in overweight prevalence between 1999 and 2008. The analysis included height and weight statistics for 3,281 children and adolescents (ages 2 through 19 years) and 719 infants and toddlers (birth to 2 years of age).

Categories of weight included the prevalence of high weight for recumbent length (at or above the 95th percentile of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts) among infants and toddlers. Prevalence of high BMI among children and adolescents was defined at 3 levels: BMI for age at or above the 97th percentile, at or above the 95th percentile, and at or above the 85th percentile of the BMI-for-age growth charts.

The researchers found that 9.5 percent of infants and toddlers younger than 2 years were at or above the 95th percentile of the weight-for-recumbent-length growth charts. For children and adolescents ages 2 through 19 years, 11.9 percent were at or above the 97th percentile, 16.9 percent were at or above the 95th percentile, and 31.7 percent were at or above the 85th percentile of BMI for age. "Based on the adult definition of obesity (BMI 30 or greater), in 2007-2008, 12.6 percent of adolescents aged 12 through 19 years were obese," the authors write.

Categorized by different age groups, 10.4 percent of 2- through 5-year-old children, 19.6 percent of 6- through 11-year-old children, and 18.1 percent of 12- through 19-year-old adolescents were at or above the 95th percentile of BMI for age.

Additional analyses indicated no significant trend in high weight for length or high BMI between 1999-2000 and 2007-2008 except at the highest BMI cut point (BMI for age at or above 97th percentile) among all 6- through 19-year-old boys and among non-Hispanic white boys of the same age.

"There are currently many efforts underway aimed at preventing childhood obesity. Funded research on interventions related to school food and physical activity environments, taxes, food marketing, and physical environment (for example, park characteristics in urban environments) have shown some promise. Moreover, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services' systematic review of behavioral interventions related to obesity found that interventions aimed at reducing screen time had sufficient evidence of effectiveness for reducing measured screen time and improving weight-related outcomes. But the results presented here indicate that the prevalence of high BMI in childhood has remained steady for 10 years and has not declined. Moreover, the heaviest boys may be getting even heavier. More research is needed to identify the behavioral, biological, and environmental factors sustaining these levels of high BMI in U.S. children," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cynthia L. Ogden; Margaret D. Carroll; Lester R. Curtin; Molly M. Lamb; Katherine M. Flegal. Prevalence of High Body Mass Index in US Children and Adolescents, 2007-2008. JAMA, 2010; 0 (2010): 2009. 2012 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Prevalence of high body mass index among children and teens remains steady." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113111909.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, January 17). Prevalence of high body mass index among children and teens remains steady. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113111909.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Prevalence of high body mass index among children and teens remains steady." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113111909.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins