Study: No significant increase in obese children

by Staff
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HAYATTSVILLE, MD. — According to a study printed in the May 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, there was no significant increase in the prevalence of obese children and teenagers in the United States between 1999 and 2006. This is in contrast to the increase that had been reported in previous years.

Height and weight were taken from 8,165 children and adolescents as a part of the 2003-04 and 2005-06 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study, headed by Cynthia L. Ogden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported no statistically significant change in high body mass index for age was found between 2003-04 and 2005-06. In addition, no statistically significant trend in high B.M.I. was found during the 1999-00, 2001-02, 2003-04 and 2005-06 periods.

Because there was no significant difference between 2003-04 and 2005-06, the periods were combined to make more detailed population estimates for the prevalence of high B.M.I. For 2003-06, 11.3% of children and adolescents were at or above the 97th percentile for B.M.I. at their age. In addition, 16.3% of children and adolescents had a B.M.I. at or above the 95th percentile for age, and 31.9% were at or above the 85th percentile.

"In the United States, the prevalence of overweight among children increased between 1980 and 2004, and the heaviest children have been getting heavier," the authors of the study said.

The incidence of obesity also ranged by race and ethnic group with non-Hispanic black and Mexican girls being more likely to have a high B.M.I. than non-Hispanic white girls. In boys, Mexican-Americans were more likely to have high B.M.I. than non-Hispanic white boys.

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