Thursday, February 28, 2008

Childhood Obesity Stats . . .

I just found this sobering collection of statistics on childhood obesity in America . . .

General Stats

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 percent of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old are overweight or obese -- a number that has tripled since 1980. In addition to the 16 percent of children and teens ages 6 to 19 who were overweight in 1999-2002, another 15 percent were considered at risk of becoming overweight. ("Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002"; Oct. 6, 2004)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the past three decades the childhood obesity rate has more than doubled for preschool children aged 2-5 years and adolescents aged 12-19 years, and it has more than tripled for children aged 6-11 years. ("Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002"; Oct. 6, 2004)
Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. This increases to 80 percent if one or more parent is overweight or obese. (United States Department of Health and Human Services)

Costs/Socioeconomics

Obesity-associated annual hospital costs for children and youth more than tripled over two decades, rising from $35 million in 1979-1981 to $127 million in 1997-1999. ("Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005," Institute of Medicine.)

Adolescents with no insurance or public insurance such as Medicaid are more likely than those covered by other insurance to be overweight, according to a 2003 study. ( J.S. Haas et al. (2003) The association of race, socioeconomic status, and health insurance status with the prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents. American Journal of Public Health, 93, 2105-2110.)
Among white teen girls, the prevalence of overweight decreases with increasing socioeconomic status. Among black teen girls, the prevalence of overweight remains the same or increases with increasing socioeconomic status.(P. Gordon-Larsen et al. (2003) The relationship of ethnicity, socioeconomic factors, and overweight in U.S. adolescents. Obesity Research, 11, 121-129.)
Exercise

Experts agree that inactivity and poor eating habits contribute to obesity. While national guidelines recommend 150 minutes of physical activity each week for elementary children and 225 minutes for older children, only Illinois has a statewide requirement for daily physical education.

Nutrition

Nearly one-third of U.S. Children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food every day, resulting in approximately six extra pounds per year, per child. Fast food consumption has increased fivefold among children since 1970. ("Effects of Fast-Food Consumption on Energy Intake and Diet Quality Among Children in a National Household Survey," Pediatrics, January 2004.)
Obesity-related Disease

For children born in the United States in 2000, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives is estimated to be about 30 percent for boys and 40 percent for girls. ("Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005," Institute of Medicine.)
In case reports limited to the 1990s, Type 2 diabetes accounted for 8 to 45 percent of all new pediatric cases of diabetes, in contrast with fewer than 4 percent before the 1990s. ("Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005," Institute of Medicine.)

In a population-based sample, approximately 60 percent of obese children aged 5 to 10 years had at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor, such as elevated total cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin or blood pressure, and 25 percent had two or more risk factors. ("Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005," Institute of Medicine.)

Data from the NACHRI Case Mix Program show inpatient diabetes cases in children's hospitals have increased approximately 12 percent between 2002 and 2004, and average adjusted estimated costs have grown approximately 10 percent during the same time frame. (Information pulled September 2005. NACHRI maintains the nation's largest pediatric-specific inpatient database, housing over 3 million discharge records from 72 children's hospitals.)

Minority Data

Among boys, the highest prevalence of obesity is observed in Hispanics. Among girls, the highest prevalence is observed in African Americans. ("Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, 2005," Institute of Medicine.)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-Hispanic black (21 percent) and Mexican-American adolescents (23 percent) ages 12-19 were more likely to be overweight than non-Hispanic white adolescents (14 percent). ("Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002"; Oct. 6, 2004.)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mexican-American children ages 6-11 were more likely to be overweight (22 percent) than non-Hispanic black children (20 percent) and non-Hispanic white children (14 percent). ("Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-2002"; Oct. 6, 2004.)

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