Severe Obesity Decreasing in Children in Cincinnati, Ohio

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Abstract

Childhood obesity rates appear to be leveling off. Studies not looking at severe obesity may be masking a rightward shift in the distribution of body mass indexes. Our objective was to provide current prevalence rates and examine trends in overweight, obesity, class 2 obesity, and class 3 obesity for youth in Cincinnati, Ohio. We performed a retrospective chart review of children 2 to 18 years old seen at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center between July 1, 2011, and June 30, 2014. Data from 217 037 BMIs were obtained; 35.2% of children were found to have an elevated BMI. Prevalence rates were highest in older, Hispanic, and Medicaid-insured children. The only significant trend over the 3-year period was a downward shift in class 3 obesity (P = .02), contrary to national findings. Further studies assessing which clinical/community efforts have led to this downward trend will be essential to target future resources and facilitate continued progress.

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