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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    • "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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