Prevalence and Trends in Obesity and Severe Obesity Among Children in the United States, 1999-2012

JAMA: 3/29/14

Importance  Childhood obesity is the focus of public health efforts and accurate estimates of the prevalence and severity of obesity are needed for policy decisions and directions for future research.

Objective  To examine the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity over time for 14 years of the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2012, and to examine differences in the trends by age, race/ethnicity, and sex.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Representative sample (N = 26 690) of children in the United States, ages 2 to 19 years, in repeated cross-sections of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2012.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Prevalence of overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 85th percentile), obesity (BMI ≥ 95th percentile for age and sex), class 2 obesity (BMI ≥ 120% of the 95th percentile or BMI ≥ 35), and class 3 obesity (BMI ≥ 140% of the 95th percentile or BMI ≥ 40). Read More