Measuring the prevalence of overweight in Texas schoolchildren

Am J Public Health. 2004 Jun;94(6):1002-8. doi: 10.2105/ajph.94.6.1002.


Objectives: We describe results from year 1 of a surveillance system to monitor body mass index in children at the state level.

Methods: A sample of 6630 children attending Texas public schools, weighted to represent 4th, 8th, and 11th grades within race/ethnic subpopulations, was assessed. Body mass index was calculated from measured height and weight; demographic information was obtained from a questionnaire.

Results: Prevalence of overweight was 22.4%, 19.2%, and 15.5% for 4th-, 8th-, and 11th-grade students, respectively. Overweight prevalence was highest among Hispanic boys (29.5%-32.6%), fourth-grade Hispanic girls (26.7%), and fourth- and eighth-grade African American girls (30.8% and 23.1%, respectively). Eleventh-grade White/other girls had the lowest prevalence of overweight (5.5%).

Conclusions: These data confirm the increasing prevalence of overweight among US children, especially among Hispanic and African American students compared to White/other students and fourth-grade students relative to 8th- and 11th-grade students.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Texas / epidemiology