Obesity and Overweight in American Indian and Alaska Native Children, 2006-2015

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Abstract

Objectives

To estimate obesity and overweight prevalence in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children across genders, ages, and geographic regions in the Indian Health Service active clinical population.

Methods

We obtained data from the Indian Health Service National Data Warehouse. At least 184 000 AI/AN children aged 2 to 19 years had body mass index data for each year studied, 2006 to 2015. We calculated body mass index percentiles with the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts.

Results

In 2015, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in AI/AN children aged 2 to 19 years was 18.5% and 29.7%, respectively. Boys had higher obesity prevalence than girls (31.5% vs 27.9%). Children aged 12 to 19 years had a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity than younger children. The AI/AN children in our study had a higher prevalence of obesity than US children overall in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Results for 2006 through 2014 were similar.

Conclusions

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among AI/AN children in this population may have stabilized, while remaining higher than prevalence for US children overall.

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