Increased obesity in children living in rural communities of Louisiana.
ABSTRACT Rates of obesity among children have been rising in recent years. Information on the prevalence of obesity in children living in rural communities is needed. We report the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children enrolled in grades 4 to 6 who live in rural areas of Louisiana, USA.
These data were collected as baseline assessment for the Louisiana (LA) Health project. Height, weight, and estimates of body fat (using body impedance analysis) were collected on 2 709 children. Average age was 10.5 years and the sample composition was 57.3% girls, 61.7% African-American, 36.0% Caucasian, and 2.3% other minority. A majority of children (77%) met the criterion for poverty status.
The distribution of body mass index (BMI) percentile was highly skewed toward obesity. The most frequent BMI percentile scores were 98(th) and 99(th) percentile. Using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) norms, the overall prevalence of obesity was 27.4%, and for overweight was 45.1%, of which 17.7% were between the 85(th) and 95(th) percentile. The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity were much higher than the national norm and this increased prevalence was observed in both genders and in Caucasian and African-American children.
The prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity was found to be much higher in rural and primarily poor (77%) children living in Louisiana when compared with national norms. This observation suggests that rural children from Louisiana may be experiencing an epidemic of obesity that exceeds national prevalence estimates.
Article: Upstream ecological risks for overweight and obesity among African American youth in a rural town in the Deep South, 2007.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Few studies have focused on overweight and obesity among rural African American youth in the Deep South, despite disproportionately high rates in this group. In addition, few studies have been conducted to elucidate how these disparities are created and perpetuated within rural communities in this region. This descriptive study explores community-based risks for overweight and obesity among African American youth in a rural town in the Deep South. We used ecological theory in conjunction with embodiment theory to explore how upstream ecological factors may contribute to risk of overweight and obesity for African American youth in a rural town in the Deep South. We conducted and analyzed in-depth interviews with African American community members who interact with youth in varying contexts (home, school, church, community). Participants most commonly stated that race relations, poverty, and the built environment were barriers to maintaining a healthy weight. Findings suggested the need for rural, community-based interventions that target obesity at multiple ecological levels and incorporate issues related to race, poverty, and the built environment. More research is needed to determine how disparities in obesity are created and perpetuated in specific community contexts.Preventing chronic disease 01/2011; 8(1):A17. · 1.82 Impact Factor