Overweight status and eating patterns among adolescents: where do youths stand in comparison with the healthy people 2010 objectives?

Am J Public Health. 2002 May;92(5):844-51. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.5.844.


Objectives: This study determined the prevalence of Minnesota urban youths reaching the Healthy People 2010 objectives for obesity and intake of fat, calcium, fruits, vegetables, and grains and compared prevalence rates across sociodemographic characteristics.

Methods: The study sample included 4746 adolescents (aged 11-18 years) from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area who completed dietary surveys and participated in anthropometric measurements as part of a school-based population study.

Results: Considerable gaps were seen between the existing prevalence rates for obesity and nutrient and food patterns and the targeted Healthy People 2010 prevalence rates. For example, 12.5% of the girls and 16.6% of the boys had body mass index values at or greater than the 95th percentile (target = 5%). Only 29.5% of the girls and 42.5% of the boys were meeting the daily recommended intakes for calcium (target = 75%). Similarly, percentages of youths consuming the recommended amounts of fat, fruits, vegetables, and grains were lower than the targeted percentages. There were large sociodemographic disparities in obesity and eating patterns, particularly across race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

Conclusions: Concerted public health efforts are needed to achieve the Healthy People 2010 objectives for obesity and nutrition and to reduce racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Calcium
  • Child
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Eating*
  • Edible Grain
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • Schools
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vegetables


  • Dietary Fats
  • Calcium