Author(s): Anderson SE, Whitaker RC
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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.
This article was published in Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism