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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Jan 21;60(2):42-6.

CDC grand rounds: childhood obesity in the United States.

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  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Feb 11;60(5):142.


In the United States, childhood obesity affects approximately 12.5 million children and teens (17% of that population). Changes in obesity prevalence from the 1960s show a rapid increase in the 1980s and 1990s, when obesity prevalence among children and teens tripled, from nearly 5% to approximately 15% (Figure 1). During the past 10 years, the rapid increase in obesity has slowed and might have leveled. However, among the heaviest boys, a significant increase in obesity has been observed, with the heaviest getting even heavier. Moreover, substantial racial/ethnic disparities exist, with Hispanic boys and non-Hispanic black girls disproportionately affected by obesity (Figure 2). Also, older children and teens are more likely to be obese compared with preschoolers.

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