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Public Health Rep. 2005 Sep-Oct;120(5):525-31.

Overweight in Southeastern Pennsylvania children: 2002 household health survey data.

Author information

1
Thomas Jefferson University/Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA. dan.liz@verizon.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The authors sought to estimate the prevalence of overweight and risk for overweight and to examine relationships between body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic and demographic characteristics among children in Philadelphia and four neighboring counties.

METHODS:

Data from the 2002 Philadelphia Health Management Corporation Household Health Survey was examined.

RESULTS:

Of 2,621 children aged 2 to 17 years, 36% were overweight or at risk for overweight and 23% were overweight. Prevalences of overweight and at risk for overweight were higher among younger children than among older children and adolescents. African American, Hispanic, and Asian children had higher prevalences than non-Hispanic white children. Childhood overweight was positively associated with household poverty, lower educational status, and higher BMI in the adult survey respondents.

CONCLUSIONS:

The observed inverse relationship between age and the prevalence of overweight among Southeastern Pennsylvania children and adolescents differs from previous reports of the prevalence of overweight in samples of U.S. children and adolescents. The high prevalence of overweight among children aged 2 to 9 years should focus attention on improving nutrition and increasing opportunities for physical activity and exercise among preschool and early school-age children.

PMID:
16224985
PMCID:
PMC1497760
DOI:
10.1177/003335490512000507
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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