Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. HC 2.5 Overweight children and adolescents

04/01/1997

Persons who are overweight in adolescence are at greater risk of being overweight as adults, and adults who are overweight are at higher risk of numerous health problems including hypertension, coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease, noninsulin dependent diabetes, and some cancers.18 Because being overweight in childhood and adolescence increases the risk of being overweight in adulthood, the trends in overweight prevalence among children and youth have become an important public health concern.

Differences by Age. Overweight prevalence was similar among children ages six to 11 years old and adolescents 12 to 17 years old (see Table HC 2.5). For both age groups and sexes, overweight prevalence has increased from 15 percent in the earliest time period to approximately 22 percent in 1988-1991.

Differences by Gender. During the time period 1988-1991, there was little difference in the overweight prevalence of male and female children and adolescents 22 percent of male children and 23 percent of female children were overweight, and 22 percent of male adolescents and 21 percent of female adolescents were overweight.

Differences by Race Among Male Children and Adolescents. In the earliest time periods (1963-1965 and 1971-1974), the percentage of black male children who were overweight was at least six percentage points lower than that of white male children. This was reversed in the most recent period (1988-1991), with black male children recording an overweight prevalence rate that is five percentage points higher than that of their white peers. Blackwhite differences were less among the older age group, but the same pattern is evident (see Figure HC 2.5).

Differences by Race for Female Children and Adolescents. With the exception of the earliest time period, the percentage of black females who were overweight was higher than that of white females for both children and adolescents. By the most recent time period 31 percent of black female children and 30 percent of black female adolescents were overweight compared with 22 percent of white female children and 20 percent of white female adolescents (see Figure HC 2.5).
 
 

Figure HC 2.5  
Age-Adjusted Prevalence of Overweight Adolsecents (Ages 12-17) from National Surveys, by Sex: 1976-1980 and 1988-1991a 

HC2_5.GIF

Note: aPrevalence of overweight is determined by those children and adolescents who were at or above the 85th percentile of body mass index (BMI) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys II and III. Determinations of overweight with BMI were sex- and age-specific.
Source: Troiano, Richard P. and Katherine M. Flegal, Robert J. Kuczmarski, Stephen M. Campbell, Clifford L. Johnson, 1995. Overweight Prevalence and Trends for Children and Adolescents: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1963-1991. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Vol. 149 (October). Estimates were calculated from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); 1976 to 1980 for NHANES II, and 1988 to 1991 for NHANES III.
 
 

Table HC 2.5 
Age-Adjusted Prevalence of Overweight Children and Adolescents: Selected Years, 1963-1991a

 
     
1963-1965
1966-1970
1971-1974
1976-1980
1988-1991
     
 
 
 
 
 
Ages 6 through 11
  Maleb
15.2
 
18.2
19.9
22.3
    White
16
 
19.5
20.8
22.3
    Black
10.3
 
12.3
15.1
27.2
  Femaleb
15.2
 
13.9
15.8
22.7
    White
15.7
 
13.4
15.4
22
    Black
12.1
 
16.8
18.4
30.7
Ages 12 through 17
  Maleb 
 
15.1
14.9
16.3
21.7
    White
 
15.8
15.3
16.6
22.6
    Black
 
10.4
12.3
14.5
23.3
  Female
 
15.2
19.7
15.5
21.2
    White
 
15
19.7
15.2
20.3
    Black
 
16.5
20.8
18.2
29.9
 
Notes: aPrevalance of overweight is determined by those children and adolescents who were at or above the 85th percentile of body mass index (BMI) from the National Health Examination Surveys II and III. Determinations of overweight with BMI were sex- and age-specific.  
bTotals for male and female children and adolescents include data for race groups not shown separately.  

Source: Troiano, Richard P. and Katherine M. Flegal, Robert J. Kuczmarski, Stephen M. Campbell, Clifford L. Johnson, 1995. "Overweight Prevalence and Trends for Children and Adolescents: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1963-1991." Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Vol. 149 (October). Estimates were calculated from National Health Examination Survey; 1963-1965 for ages 6 through 11, and 1966 to 1970 for ages 12 through 17 years and from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); 1971 to 1974 for NHANES I, 1976 to 1980 for NHANES II, and 1988 to 1991 for NHANES III.

 

18 Troiano, Richard P. and Katherine M. Flegal, Robert J. Kuczmarski, Stephen M. Campbell, Clifford L. Johnson, 1995. "Overweight Prevalence and Trends for Children and Adolescents: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1963-1991." Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Vol. 149 (October).
 

View full report

Preview
Download

"97intro.pdf" (pdf, 97.9Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"97-sec1.pdf" (pdf, 163.75Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"97-sec2.pdf" (pdf, 235.24Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"97-sec3.pdf" (pdf, 269.73Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"97-sec4.pdf" (pdf, 331.35Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"97-sec5.pdf" (pdf, 202.8Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®