Prevalence of Obesity 17.8 Percent for Youth in 2013 to 2016

Prevalence of severe obesity significantly higher among U.S. youth in non-metropolitan statistical areas

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TUESDAY, June 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of obesity and severe obesity among U.S. youth was 17.8 and 5.8 percent, respectively, in 2013 to 2016, according to a study published in the June 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md., and colleagues examined the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity by subgroups in 2013 to 2016 and trends by urbanization between 2001 to 2004 and 2013 to 2016.

The researchers found that the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity was 17.8 and 5.8 percent, respectively, among youth aged 2 to 19 years in 2013 to 2016. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of obesity in large metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), medium or small MSAs, and non-MSAs (17.1, 17.2, and 21.7 percent, respectively). The prevalence of severe obesity was significantly higher in non-MSAs versus large MSAs (9.4 versus 5.1 percent). In adjusted analyses, obesity and severe obesity increased significantly with greater age and lower education of household head; severe obesity increased with lower level of urbanization. The prevalence of obesity and severe obesity was significantly higher among non-Hispanic black and Hispanic youth versus non-Hispanic white youth.

"In 2013 to 2016, there were differences in the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity by age, race and Hispanic origin, and household education, and severe obesity was inversely associated with urbanization," the authors write.

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