Objective: Provide the most recent data on the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity among United States children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years.
Methods: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2014, was used. Weight status was defined using measured height and weight and standard definitions as follows: overweight as ≥85th percentile for age- and sex-specific BMI; class I obesity as ≥95th percentile; class II obesity as ≥120 of the 95th percentile, or BMI ≥35; and class III obesity as ≥140% of the 95th percentile, or BMI ≥40. This study reports the prevalence of obesity by 2-year National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycle and Wald tests comparing the 2011-2012 cycle with the 2013-2014 cycle, as well as the linear trend from 1999 to 2014. Multivariable logistic regression models estimated odds ratios for differences by each 2-year cycle.
Results: In 2013-2014, 17.4% of children met criteria for class I obesity, including 6.3% for class II and 2.4% for class III, none statistically different than 2011-2012. A clear, statistically significant increase in all classes of obesity continued from 1999 through 2014.
Conclusions: There is no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence in any age group, despite substantial clinical and policy efforts targeting the issue.
© 2016 The Obesity Society.