Child overweight and obesity in the USA: prevalence rates according to IOTF definitions

Int J Pediatr Obes. 2007;2(1):62-4. doi: 10.1080/17477160601103948.


Aims: To establish the prevalence of child overweight and obesity in the USA using IOTF-recommended definitions.

Methods: Original data from the NHANES surveys for 1999-2000 and 2003-2004 were analysed using the IOTF cut-offs and prevalence levels calculated using sample weightings provided.

Results: In 1999-2000, overweight (including obesity) was affecting 29% of school-age children. By 2003-2004 this figure had risen above 35%. Obesity alone was affecting 10% of school children in the 1999-2000, and over 13% in 2003-2004.

Conclusion: The United States is experiencing levels of child overweight and obesity that are among the highest recorded in any country in the world.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Male
  • Obesity / diagnosis*
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight*
  • Prevalence
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • United States / epidemiology