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.