The costs of publication of this article were defrayed, in part, by the payment of page charges. This article must, therefore, be hereby marked “advertisement” in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Secular Trends for Childhood BMI, Weight, and Height
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
2006 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 301–308, February 2006
How to Cite
Freedman, D. S., Khan, L. K., Serdula, M. K., Ogden, C. L. and Dietz, W. H. (2006), Racial and Ethnic Differences in Secular Trends for Childhood BMI, Weight, and Height. Obesity, 14: 301–308. doi: 10.1038/oby.2006.39
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 6 SEP 2012
- Received for review March 11, 2005; Accepted in final form November 21, 2005
- ethnic groups;
- body height;
- body weight
Objectives: The prevalence of childhood overweight in the United States has markedly increased over the last 30 years. We examined differences in the secular trends for BMI, weight, and height among white, black, and Mexican-American children.
Research Methods and Procedures: Analyses were based on nationally representative data collected from 2 to 17 year olds in four examinations (1971–1974 through 1999–2002).
Results: Overall, black children experienced much larger secular increases in BMI, weight, and height than did white children. For example, over the 30-year period, the prevalence of overweight increased ∼3-fold (4% to 13%) among 6- to 11-year-old white children but 5-fold (4% to 20%) among black children. In most sex-age groups, Mexican-American children experienced increases in BMI and overweight that were between those experienced by blacks and whites. Race/ethnicity differences were less marked among 2 to 5 year olds, and in this age group, white children experienced the largest increase in overweight (from 4% to 9%). In 1999–2002, the prevalence of extreme BMI levels (≥99th percentile) reached 6% to 7% among black girls and Mexican-American boys.
Discussion: Because of the strong tracking of childhood BMI levels into adulthood, it is likely that the secular increases in childhood overweight will greatly increase the burden of adult disease. The further development of obesity interventions in different racial/ethnic groups should be emphasized.