Wednesday, June 08, 2016

CDC study: Youth obesity rates up overall, but have declined among younger children in recent years

Obesity rates among children—a major concern in rural areas—continue to rise, although rates among younger children have declined in recent years, says a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study, which used data of 40,780 children from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, found that among those ages 2 to 5, obese children increased from 7.2 percent from 1988-1994 to 9.4 percent in 2013-14. But that came after rates hit 13.9 percent in 2003-04. (CDC graphic)

Results for older youth were not as positive. Among those 6-11, obesity increased from 11.3 percent in 1988-94 to 17.4 percent in 2013-14. Among those 12-19, rates increased from 10.5 percent to 20.6 percent. Overall, researchers found that the prevalence of obesity in 2011-2014 was 17 percent and extreme obesity was 5.8 percent.

Researchers found that "compared to white children, the odds of obesity were 34 percent higher for black children and 48 percent higher for Latino children," Karen Kaplan reports for the Los Angeles Times. "Asian American children were 43 percent less likely than whites to be obese. Parents’ education also seems to play a role. Compared to kids living in homes headed by someone who attended or graduated from college, those whose parent or guardian had dropped out of high school were 41 percent more likely to be obese, and those whose parent or guardian had only a high school degree were 61 percent more likely to be obese."

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