Trends in Abdominal Obesity Among US Children and Adolescents
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Previous studies have shown that the prevalence of abdominal obesity among US children and adolescents increased significantly between 1988 to 1994 and 2003 to 2004. However, little is known about time trends in abdominal obesity since 2003 to 2004. This study was designed to provide updated national estimates of childhood abdominal obesity and examine the trends in childhood abdominal obesity from 2003 to 2012.
METHODS: Data were from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), conducted during 5 time periods (2003–2004, 2005–2006, 2007–2008, 2009–2010, and 2011–2012). A total of 16 547 US children and adolescents aged 2 to 18 years were included. Abdominal obesity is defined as a waist circumference (WC) greater than or equal to the gender- and age-specific 90th percentile based on data from NHANES III (1988–1994) or a waist/height ratio (WHtR) ≥0.5
RESULTS: In 2011 to 2012, 18.87% of children and adolescents aged 2 to 18 years were abdominally obese as defined by WC; 33.29% of those aged 6 to 18 years were abdominally obese as defined by WHtR. Mean WC and WHtR and the prevalence of abdominal obesity remained stable between 2003 to 2004 and 2011 to 2012, independent of gender, age, and race or ethnicity. However, abdominal obesity decreased across survey years among non-Hispanic white children.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of abdominal obesity leveled off among US children and adolescents between 2003 to 2004 and 2011 to 2012.
- Accepted May 20, 2014.
- Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Pediatrics