Childhood Obesity Rates Still Rising in the U.S.


Recent reports have hinted that childhood obesity is beginning to improve in some U.S. cities, at least for the youngest kids who are preschool age. But for the entire population of children ages two to 19 years, the prevalence of overweight and obesity continue to climb, as they have been since 1999.

That’s what Asheley Skinner, an associate professor medicine at Duke University, and her colleagues found when they analyzed obesity data from national surveys over the past 15 years. Since 1999, rates of overweight and obesity, as measured by body mass index (BMI) from children’s height and weight, have continued to steadily increase. In the latest survey, conducted from 2013 to 2014, 33% of children were overweight, and 26% were considered obese.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity increased steadily year by year from 1999 to 2014. For overweight, it went up from 28.8% in 1999 to 33.4%, and for the least severe type of obesity, from 14.6% to 17.4%.

Even more concerning, the trend has also worsened among the most severely obese: children with BMI readings greater than 40 for their age group. The prevalence of this type of obesity increased from 0.9% in 1999 to 2.4% in 2014.

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SOURCE: TIME, Alice Park

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