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ISRN Nurs. 2011;2011:270464. doi: 10.5402/2011/270464. Epub 2011 Sep 18.

Obesity and Overweight Prevalence among a Mississippi Low-Income Preschool Population: A Five-Year Comparison.

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School of Nursing, College of Health, University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive, Box 5095, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001, USA.


Purpose. This study determined 2010 rates of overweight/obesity in a representative sample of low-income preschoolers in Mississippi, USA and compared rates between 2005 (N = 1250) and 2010 (N = 1765). Significance. Obesity is a significant global health issue because of its well-established negative health consequences. Child obesity is a concern due to risk of early-onset obesity-related illnesses and the longevity of lifetime exposure to those illnesses. Methods. Identical measures were used in 2005 and 2010 with complex-stratified sampling designs. Results. Chi-square tests revealed that overall obesity/overweight rates between 2005 (20.6%/17.9%) and 2010 (20.8%/17.0%) had not changed significantly for the samples as a whole, nor by gender or race. Age group comparisons indicated a significant decline in obesity rates of 3 year olds (20.3% in 2005, reduced to 13.1% in 2010, P = 0.035). These findings mimic the trend toward stabilization of obesity rates noted in national low-income preschool populations.

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