Racial and Ethnic Differences in Secular Trends for Childhood BMI, Weight, and Height*

Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 03/2006; 14(2):301-8. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2006.39
Source: PubMed


The prevalence of childhood overweight in the United States has markedly increased over the last 30 years. We examined differences in the secular trends for BMI, weight, and height among white, black, and Mexican-American children.
Analyses were based on nationally representative data collected from 2 to 17 year olds in four examinations (1971-1974 through 1999-2002).
Overall, black children experienced much larger secular increases in BMI, weight, and height than did white children. For example, over the 30-year period, the prevalence of overweight increased approximately 3-fold (4% to 13%) among 6- to 11-year-old white children but 5-fold (4% to 20%) among black children. In most sex-age groups, Mexican-American children experienced increases in BMI and overweight that were between those experienced by blacks and whites. Race/ethnicity differences were less marked among 2 to 5 year olds, and in this age group, white children experienced the largest increase in overweight (from 4% to 9%). In 1999-2002, the prevalence of extreme BMI levels (> or =99th percentile) reached 6% to 7% among black girls and Mexican-American boys.
Because of the strong tracking of childhood BMI levels into adulthood, it is likely that the secular increases in childhood overweight will greatly increase the burden of adult disease. The further development of obesity interventions in different racial/ethnic groups should be emphasized.

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    • "th the findings of other authors ( Catalano et al . , 2010 ; Eriksson et al . , 2010 ) . Even ethnicity , which is assumed to be a genetic factor , must have a strong cultural component . Indeed , differences in physical indices between people of different ethnicity living in the same country have been established worldwide ( Rona et al . , 2003 ; Freedman et al . , 2006 ; de Wilde et al . , 2015 ) . Nevertheless , it is still not clear how much of that variance may be explained by genetic or environmental factors ( Godina , 2000 ; Siniarska - Wolanska et al . , 2010 ; van Rossem et al . , 2014 ) . It has been stated that in the modern world even ethnic differences in body proportions will vanish ( Ulij"
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to reveal the ethnic and socioeconomic factors associated with height and body mass index (BMI) of children during the period of political and social transition in Lithuania in 1990–2008. Data were derived from the personal health records of 1491 children (762 boys and 729 girls) born in 1990 in Vilnius city and region. Height and BMI from birth up to the age of 18 years were investigated. Children were divided into groups according to their ethnicity, place of residence, father’s and mother’s occupation and birth order. Height and BMI were compared between the groups; a Bonferroni correction was applied. A multiple linear regression model was used to measure the effects of the independent variables on height and BMI. Girls living in Vilnius city were significantly taller in later life at the ages of 8 and 11 years. Sons of mothers employed as office workers appeared to be significantly taller at the ages of 7, 12, 14 and 15 years compared with the sons of labourers. First-born girls were taller at the age of 7 years than later-born girls of the same age (124.48±5.11 cm and 122.92±5.14 cm, respectively, p <0.001). Later-born children of both sexes had higher BMIs at birth compared with first-borns; however, first-born girls had higher BMIs at the age of 11 years compared with their later-born peers (17.78±2.87 kg/m² and 16.79±2.14 kg/m² respectively, p <0.001). In the multiple linear regression model, the five tested independent variables explained only up to 18% of total variability. Boys were more sensitive to ethnic and socioeconomic factors: ethnicity appeared to be a significant predictor of boys’ height at the age of 5 years ( p <0.001), while birth order ( p <0.001) predicted boys’ BMI at birth. In general, ethnicity, place of residence, father’s and mother’s occupation and birth order were not associated with children’s height and BMI in most age groups.
    Journal of Biosocial Science 07/2015; -1:1-28. DOI:10.1017/S0021932015000243 · 0.98 Impact Factor
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    • "Thus, secular changes were prominent in the 20 th century (especially after World War II) when they were expressed as a steady increase in mean height and weight of European and US populations (van Wieringen 1986). Most reports have focused on generation changes in height and body mass (Freedman et al. 2006, Malina et al. 2010, Kryst et al. 2012, Sun et al. 2012). Nevertheless , and according to Hermanussen et al. (2010), the so-called secular trend in human growth is not a consistent and homogeneous event that takes place uniformly affecting height, weight, body shape, various circumferences, and other anthropometric characters. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: To analyze the secular changes in body size and composition of two cohorts of children from La Plata City, Argentina, with a 35-year follow-up. subjects and methods: Cohort 1 (C1) was measured in 1969-1970 and included 1772 children (889 boys, 883 girls), and Cohort 2 (C2), measured in 2004-2005, included 1059 children (542 boys, 517 girls). Both cohorts were obtained from matching geographical areas and comprised children from 4 to 12 years. Body weight (W); Height (H); Upper arm circumference (UAC); Tricipital (TS) and Subscapular skinfolds (SS) were measured, and Body Mass Index (BMI) and muscle (UMA) and fat (AFA) brachial areas were calculated. Prevalence of overweight and obesity was estimated by IOTF. To compare C1-C2 we used a generalized linear model with log-transformed variables, and chi square test. Results: There were significant and positive differences between C2-C1 in W, UAC, SS, TS, and AFA. In contrast, H was not significantly different and UMA was significantly different but with negative values. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 14.5% and 3.8% in C1, and 17.0% and 6.8% in C2. Differences between cohorts were significant for obesity. Conclusion: The shifts observed for soft tissues--positive trend for fat and negative for muscle area--occurring without changes in height lead us to suppose that in these three decades, La Plata's population has experienced deterioration in living conditions and important changes in their lifestyle, such as an increased consumption of energy-dense foods and sedentary habits.
    Anthropologischer Anzeiger 06/2014; 71(3). DOI:10.1127/0003-5548/2014/0364 · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    • "The increase in the prevalence rate of obesity in pediatric populations is accompanied by an even more pronounced increase of the rate of extreme obesity [1-3]. The effect of extreme obesity in adolescence is multi-fold, affecting individuals during both adolescence and adulthood, their families, and the health care system. "
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    ABSTRACT: Prevalence rates of overweight and obesity have increased in German children and adolescents in the last three decades. Adolescents with extreme obesity represent a distinct risk group. On the basis of data obtained by the German Child and Youth Survey (KiGGS) and the German district military offices we estimate that the group of extremely obese adolescents (BMI >= 35 kg/m2) currently encompasses approximately 200.000 adolescents aged 14 to 21 yrs. Conventional approaches focusing on weight reduction have largely proven futile for them. In addition, only a small percentage of adolescents with extreme obesity seek actively treatment for obesity while contributing disproportionately strong to health care costs. Because of somatic and psychiatric co-morbidities and social problems adolescents with extreme obesity require special attention within the medical care system.We have initiated the project "Medical and psychosocial implications of adolescents with extreme obesity - acceptance and effects of structured care, short: 'Youths with Extreme Obesity Study (YES)'", which aims at improving the medical care and social support structures for youths with extreme obesity in Germany. We focus on identification of these subjects (baseline examination) and their acceptance of diagnostic and subsequent treatment procedures. In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) we will investigate the effectiveness of a low key group intervention not focusing on weight loss but aimed at the provision of obesity related information, alleviation of social isolation, school and vocational integration and improvement of self-esteem in comparison to a control group treated in a conventional way with focus on weight loss. Interested individuals who fulfill current recommended criteria for weight loss surgery will be provided with a structured preparation and follow-up programs. All subjects will be monitored within a long-term observational study to elucidate medical and psychosocial outcomes. Our aim is to evaluate realistic treatment options. Therefore inclusion and exclusion criteria are minimized.We will recruit adolescents (age range 14--21 years) with extreme obesity (BMI >= 35 kg/m2) (extreme group) within 24 months (120 per centre, 5 centres) as well as obese adolescents being at risk for developing extreme obesity (BMI >= 30 -- 34.9 kg/m2) (at risk group). Follow-up evalutations will be performed biannually after inclusion and is planned to be extended in case of additional funding. In sum, we aim at establishing evaluated health care structures for extremely obese adolescents. The results of YES will be of importance for a frequently neglected group of individuals, for whom current medicine has little to offer in terms of structured access to empirically evaluated therapeutic programs. Thus, the results will be both a help for the adolescents within the study and for others in the future given that the trial will lead to a positive finding. Moreover, it will help practitioners and therapists to deal with this neglected group of individuals.Trial registrationProject registration numbers for each subproject: 1.) NCT01625325, NCT01703273, NCT01662271, NCT01632098; 2.) DRKS00004172, DRKS00004195, DRKS00004198, DRKS00004197.
    BMC Public Health 08/2013; 13(1):789. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-13-789 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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