Childhood obesity has been a growing concern in recent years. The extent of obesity in various ethnic pediatric populations including Chinese Americans has not been fully explored. In this study, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in a Chinese American pediatric population (6-19 years) was determined through a chart review of 4,695 patients from a large community health center in New York City. Demographic characteristics including sex, age and immigrant status were used in a logistic regression to determine risk factors for obesity in this community. Overall, 24.6% of the children studied were overweight or obese (defined as BMI > or = 85th percentile for age and sex). Among US born boys aged 6-12 years, the combined prevalence of overweight and obesity was found to be as high as 40%. Further studies are needed to understand the complex interplay of factors that contribute to obesity in pediatric immigrant groups.