Important Facts for Overweight WIC Infants and Children
DefinitionDefinitions used in this Indicator Report follow the current USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program definitions, which are as follows: '''Overweight''' - children 2-5 years of age and greater than or equal to the 85th and less than the 95th percentile Body Mass Index (BMI)-for-age or weight-for-stature as plotted on the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2-20 years gender-specific growth charts. '''At Risk of Overweight''' - children greater than or equal to 12 months of age and having a biological mother with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 at the time of the child's certification on the WIC program __OR__ children aged 1 to 5 years having a biological father with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 at the time of certification. '''Obese''' - children 2-5 years of age and greater than or equal to the 95th percentile BMI or weight-for-stature as plotted on the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2-20 years gender-specific growth charts. '''High Weight-for-Length''' (added in 2013) - children 12-24 months of age having a weight-for-length greater than or equal to the 97.7th percentile as plotted on the CDC Birth to 24 Months gender-specific growth charts.
Numerator__2000-2005 & 2010__: The number of children receiving WIC services who were '''overweight''' or '''obese''' (see Definition).[[br]] [[br]] __2011-2012__: The number of children receiving WIC services who were '''at risk of overweight''' (see Definition) __AND__ the number of children who were '''overweight''' or '''obese''' (see Definition).[[br]] [[br]] __2013-current__: The number of children receiving WIC services who were '''high weight-for-length''' or '''at risk of overweight''' (see Definition) __AND__ the number of children who were '''overweight''' or '''obese''' (see Definition).
Denominator__2000-2005 and 2010__: The number of children aged 2 to 5 years receiving WIC services.[[br]] [[br]] __2011-current__: The number of children aged 12 months to 5 years receiving WIC services.
Data Interpretation IssuesCDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) PedNSS (Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System) data were used through 2010. PedNSS used raw data submitted by the state Special Supplemental Nutrition Programs for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The PedNSS provides nutrition surveillance reports for the nation defined as "all participating contributors" as well as for each contributor. A contributor may be a state, U.S. territory, or tribal government. Each contributor can receive more specific reports by the clinic, county, local agency, region, or metropolitan area (taken from the CDC website). The data represent actual measurements taken in the local WIC clinics or referral data from the health care provider's office.[[br]] [[br]] Beginning in 2011, national data are from USDA's WIC Program and Participant Characteristic Survey which is released every two years. Utah data for obesity only uses this same data source. However, Utah data for the combined overweight, at risk for overweight, high weight for length, or obese beginning in 2011 are from the WIC computer system VISION, created by Ciber.[[br]] [[br]] The 2015 Utah data are significantly lower than in previous years. Considerations for this marked decline may be decreasing caseload in WIC participation and/or evidence of the quality of WIC foods for growing children such as fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, and whole grains.[[br]] [[br]] The 2018 Utah data increased from previous years. This increase may be related to a decreasing WIC caseload, affecting the proportion of children assigned an overweight or obese nutrition risk factor.[[br]] [[br]] From 2020-2022, the COVID-19 pandemic caused FNS to provide WIC clinics waivers for in-person visits, making accurate data collection for anthropometrics difficult. This may have contributed to the fluctuation in overweight and obesity prevalence for these years.
Why Is This Important?Childhood overweight is a serious health problem in the United States, and the prevalence of overweight among preschool children has doubled since the 1970s. There have been significant increases in the prevalence of overweight in children younger than 5 years of age across all ethnic groups. Onset of overweight in childhood accounts for 25% of adult obesity; but overweight that begins before age 8 and persists into adulthood is associated with an even greater degree of adult obesity. Childhood overweight is associated with a variety of adverse consequences, including an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, asthma, GERD, sleep apnea, bullying, social stigmatization, mental health conditions, and low self-esteem.
Healthy People Objective NWS-10.1:Reduce the proportion of children aged 2 to 5 years who are considered obese
U.S. Target: 9.4 percent