High Body Mass Index for Age Among US Children and Adolescents, 2003-2006

This study estimates the prevalence of three measures of high body mass index (BMI) and examines trends of overweight among U.S. children and adolescents between 2003 and 2006.

What researchers found: Overall, in 2003–2006, 11.3 percent children and adolescents aged 2 through 19 years were at or above the 97th percentile of the 2000 BMI-for-age growth charts, 16.3 percent were at or above the 95th percentile, and 31.9 percent were at or above the 85th percentile. There were no significant changes between 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 and no significant trends between 1999 and 2006 of the prevalence of high BMI for age among children and adolescents.

Why we chose this publication: These nonsignificant changes in the prevalence of high BMI for age among children and adolescents between 2003–2004 and 2005–2006, do not indicate that the childhood obesity epidemic has begun to subside. Policy-makers, health experts and the public must sustain their momentum in advocating for childhood obesity prevention interventions.

What researchers studied: Researchers analyzed height and weight measurements of 8,165 children and adolescents from the 2003–2004 and 2005–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), nationally representative surveys of the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population.