Online Program

Childhood Obesity in the US: Implication for school education

Monday, November 2, 2015

Chia-Ching Chen, EdD, MA, MS, CHES, SRAS, Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, New York Medical College School of Health Sciences & Practice, Valhalla, NY
Qiuhu Shi, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Health Science and Practice, Valhalla, NY
Background: Childhood obesity has been recognized as an increasing health problem worldwide. It is a predictor of obesity during adulthood, which is strongly linked to chronic lifestyle diseases. Obesity prevention in schoolchildren is a public health priority.

Objectives: To examine childhood obesity prevalence in ages 5-14 by gender, race and socioeconomic status (SES) over the past 10 years and its risk factors.

Methods: A total of 10,895 children ages 5 to 14 from continuous NHANES survey of 1999 - 2010 were included in this analysis. A constructing weights for combining six cycles from Analytic Guidelines, 1999–2010 (CDC) were used. The 2000 CDC Growth Charts was used to calculate each child’s BMI, standardized to the reference population for the child’s age and sex.  The CDC’s standard thresholds of the 95th percentile for obesity was used.

Results: The obesity prevalence increases from 14.02% in ages 5-6 to 19.97% in ages 11-12 and decreases to 17.89% in ages 13-14. A higher prevalence occurs in boys before age 12 than girls. A higher prevalence arises in Mexican Americans and Non-Hispanic Blacks compared to Non-Hispanic Whites across ages 5-14.  The difference is as high as 10% in ages 11-12.  Low SES has a higher obesity incident level (15.40%-25.10%) compared to a higher SES (10.79%-14.86%).

Conclusions: The highest obesity prevalence occurs in ages 11-12. The obesity rate is higher among minority children and those from lower SES.  Strategies to tackle obesity need to be incorporated into other existing school-based health promotion programs, particularly those preventing chronic diseases by promoting healthful eating and physical activity.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Define obesity using BMI calculation and percentiles for children and teens. Assess childhood obesity prevalence by gender, race, and socioeconomic status in US using 10 years crossectional dataset. Identify strategies for promoting school-based obesity prevention.

Keyword(s): Obesity, School-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author on the content because I am involved in the study. My area of research has been focused on promoting health and preventing disease among children at school-based setting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.