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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009 Apr;163(4):344-8. doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.18.

Prevalence of obesity among US preschool children in different racial and ethnic groups.

Author information

  • 1Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, B216 Starling Loving Hall, 320 W 10th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. sanderson@cph.osu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To estimate the prevalence of obesity in 5 major racial/ethnic groups in 4-year-old US children.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional secondary data analysis.

SETTING:

Nationally representative sample of US children born in 2001.

PARTICIPANTS:

Height and weight were measured in 2005 in approximately 8550 children who participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort.

MAIN EXPOSURE:

Racial/ethnic group.

OUTCOME MEASURE:

Prevalence of obesity, defined as body mass index at or above the 95th percentile for age of the sex-specific Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts.

RESULTS:

Obesity prevalence among 4-year-old US children (mean age, 52.3 months) was 18.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 17.1%-19.8%). Obesity prevalence differed by racial/ethnic group (P < .001): American Indian/Native Alaskan, 31.2% (95% CI, 24.6%-37.8%); Hispanic, 22.0% (95% CI, 19.5%-24.5%); non-Hispanic black, 20.8% (95% CI, 17.8%-23.7%); non-Hispanic white, 15.9% (95% CI, 14.3%-17.5%); and Asian, 12.8% (95% CI, 10.0%-15.6%). All pairwise differences in obesity prevalence between racial/ethnic groups were statistically significant after a Bonferroni adjustment (P < .005) except for those between Hispanic and non-Hispanic black children and between non-Hispanic white and Asian children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Racial/ethnic disparities in obesity are apparent in 4-year-old US children. The highest prevalence is in American Indian/Native Alaskan children, in whom obesity is twice as common as in non-Hispanic white or Asian children.

PMID:
19349563
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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