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Health Indicator Report of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents

The number of overweight or obese children and adolescents is increasing and diseases previously thought to affect mainly adults, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, are now being diagnosed in children and adolescents. The social and psychological impacts of childhood obesity include social isolation, increased rate of suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, increased rate of anxiety disorders and depression, and increased likelihood of being bullied.

Percentage of Adolescents Who Were Obese, Grades 9-12, Utah and U.S., 1999-2017

Notes

Childhood obesity is determined by calculating BMI using the height, weight, age, and sex of the child. The child is considered to be obese if the resulting BMI is greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for age and sex based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Growth Charts (2 to 20 years: Boys Body Mass index-for-age percentiles and 2 to 20 years: Girls Body Mass index-for-age percentiles).   [[br]][[br]] The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance survey is performed only in odd-numbered years.[[br]] YRBS BMI data should be used with caution since individual height and weight are self-reported.

Data Sources

  • Utah Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, Utah Department of Health
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Definition

Body mass index (BMI) is widely used to determine obesity and overweight because it is inexpensive, reproducible, and convenient. BMI is calculated using the individual's height, weight, age, and sex.^1^ For individuals aged 2 to 20, overweight and obesity is determined by calculating the individual's BMI and comparing it to age and sex standardized growth charts distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children and adolescents are considered obese if their BMI is greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for BMI by age and sex based on the 2000 CDC Growth Charts.^2^[[br]] [[br]] ---- 1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ''The Surgeon General's call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity''. [Rockville, MD]: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Office of the Surgeon General; [2001]. Available from: U.S. GPO, Washington.[[br]] 2. Tools for calculating body mass index (BMI). Nutrition & physical activity. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from [https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/bmi/calculator.html]

Numerator

Number of individuals surveyed or measured who are obese (BMI greater than or equal to the 95th percentile for BMI by age and sex based on CDC Growth Charts).^1^[[br]] [[br]] ---- 1. Tools for calculating body mass index (BMI). Nutrition & physical activity. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from [https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/bmi/calculator.html]

Denominator

Total number of people surveyed or measured.

Healthy People Objective NWS-10:

Reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who are considered obese
U.S. Target: Not applicable, see subobjectives in this category

Other Objectives

{{style color:#003366 Healthy People Objective NWS-10:}}[[br]] Reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who are considered obese[[br]] *{{style color:#003366 NWS-10.2:}} Children aged 6 to 11 years **'''U.S. Target:''' 15.7 percent **'''State Target:''' 10.0 percent[[br]] *{{style color:#003366 NWS-10.3:}} Adolescents aged 12 to 19 years **'''U.S. Target:''' 16.1 percent **'''Utah Target:''' 10.0 percent

How Are We Doing?

The percentage of obese children in Utah increased dramatically in the first decade of the century. From 1994 to 2010 the number of obese third grade boys increased by 97 percent, from 6.0 percent in 1994 to 11.8 percent in 2010. The percentage of obese third grade girls increased by 40 percent over the same time period. In 2010, 8.4 percent of third grade girls were obese compared to 6.0 percent in 1994. Childhood obesity in Utah seems to have leveled off since 2010. In 2018, 12.1% of third grade boys and 8.3% of girls were obese. Among adolescents in 2017, 9.6 percent of Utah public high school students were obese; boys were over twice as likely as girls to be obese (14.0% compared to 5.2%). The adolescent obesity rate nationally is considerably higher than Utah's rate, where 14.8% of U.S. adolescents were obese in 2017. The obesity rate in 2017 among adolescents in grades 8, 10 and 12 was lower in Wasatch County (6.8%) than the state rate (9.5%). The obesity rate among adolescents in grades 8, 10, and 12 was higher in Salt Lake County (11.0%) than the state rate. Adolescent obesity rates varied dramatically by race and ethnicity. According to the 2017 Prevention Needs Assessment data Pacific Islanders (29.1%), Native Americans (15.9%), Blacks (15.2%), and Hispanics (13.9%) in grades 8, 10, and 12 all had higher rates of obesity than the state rate (9.6%). White adolescents (8.1%) had lower rates than the state rate. It is likely that these data, based on self-reported height and weight, under represent the prevalence of overweight or obesity among high school students.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In the U.S. there has been more than a 200 percent increase during the past 38 years in the number of obese children aged 2 to 19 years (5.2% in 1971-74 and 16.9% in 2011-12).^1^ An increase has also been observed in Utah between 1994 and 2010 with the number of overweight third grade boys and girls increasing by 97 percent and 40 percent, respectively. In 2017, 14.8 percent of American public high school students were obese. In 2017, 9.6 percent of Utah public high school students were obese.[[br]] [[br]] ---- 1. National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ''Prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents: United States, 1963-1965 Through 2011-2012''. Retrieved on December 14, 2015, [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_11_12/obesity_child_11_12.pdf]

What Is Being Done?

In 2013, through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Healthy Living through Environment, Policy, and Improved Clinical Care Program (EPICC) was established. EPICC works on Environmental Approaches that Promote Health. EPICC works: In Schools:[[br]] 1) Schools are encouraged to adopt the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. This framework encourages students to be physically active for 60 minutes a day through school, home and community activities.[[br]] 2) Height and weight trends are being tracked in a sample of elementary students to monitor Utah students.[[br]] 3) Action for Healthy Kids brings partners together to improve nutrition and physical activity environments in Utah's schools by implementing the school-based state plan strategies, working with local school boards to improve or develop policies for nutritious foods in schools. This includes recommendations for healthy vending options. In Worksites:[[br]] 1) The Utah Council for Worksite Health Promotion recognizes businesses that offer employee fitness and health promotion programs.[[br]] 2) EPICC partners with local health departments to encourage worksites to complete the CDC Scorecard and participate in yearly health risk assessment for their employees. EPICC provides toolkits and other resources for employers interested in implementing wellness programs through the [http://choosehealth.utah.gov choosehealth.utah.gov] website: [http://choosehealth.utah.gov/worksites/why-worksite-wellness.php] -- In Communities:[[br]] 1) Local health departments (LHDs) receive federal funding to partner with schools, worksites, and other community based organizations to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables through farmers markets and retail stores. LHDs also work with cities within their jurisdictions to create a built environment that encourages physical activity. In Healthcare:[[br]] 1) EPICC works with health care systems to establish community clinical linkages to support individuals at risk for or diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension to engage in lifestyle change programs such as chronic disease self-management and diabetes prevention programs. In Childcare:[[br]] 1) Nine local health departments statewide have implemented the TOP Star program, which aims to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments and achieve best practice in child care centers and homes.[[br]] 2) EPICC works with state and local partners through the Childcare Obesity Prevention workgroup to implement policy and systems changes in early care and education across agencies statewide.

Evidence-based Practices

The EPICC program promotes evidence based practices collected by the Center TRT. The Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT) bridges the gap between research and practice and supports the efforts of public health practitioners working in nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention by:[[br]] *Reviewing evidence of public health impact and disseminating population-level interventions; *Designing and providing practice-relevant training both in-person and web-based; *Addressing social determinants of health and health equity through training and translation efforts; and, *Providing guidance on evaluating policies and programs aimed at impacting healthy eating and physical activity.[[br]] [[br]] Appropriate evidence based interventions can be found at [http://www.centertrt.org/?p=interventions_interventions_overview].

Available Services

Gold Medal School Initiative - for more information, call (801) 538-9454 Action for Healthy Kids Program - for more information, visit [http://www.actionforhealthykids.org/] The Utah Department of Health's obesity website located at [http://www.choosehealth.utah.gov]

Health Program Information

Information for school wellness policies is available at Action for Health Kids, [http://www.actionforhealthykids.org].[[br]] Information specifically for Utah is available at [http://choosehealth.utah.gov/].
Page Content Updated On 11/20/2018, Published on 11/26/2018
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Content updated: Mon, 26 Nov 2018 12:11:46 MST