Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health
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Variable Name: Indicator 1.4a: Childhood obesity, age 10-17
Survey Items: For more information on childhood obesity and BMI-for-age, visit click here.
Denominator: Children age 10-17 years
Numerator: Underweight (less than 5th percentile); healthy weight (5th to 84th percentile); overweight OR obese (85th percentile or above)
Revisions and Changes: Same as the 2007 and 2003 NSCH; may compare across survey years with special attention to the addition of cell phones in the 2011/12 NSCH sample.
Additional Notes: In children and teens, body mass index is used to assess underweight, overweight, and risk for overweight. Children's body fatness changes over the years as they grow. Also, girls and boys differ in their body fatness as they mature. This is why BMI for children, also referred to as BMI-for-age, is gender and age specific. (Centers for Disease Control, 2005). For more information, including how BMI-for-age is calculated for children and teens, visit the URL above BMI-for-age calculated from the NSCH 2007 is based on parent-reported height and weight of children and were not independently measured. In 2003, these height and weight estimates were compared to national estimates from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is based on independent measurement. This comparison revealed that, for children under 10 years of age, height was generally underreported and weight was generally overreported. Therefore, BMI for children under 10 years of age has not been included as part of this indicator. Additionally, calculation of BMI-for-age is usually based on the age of the child in months. Because age was only reported in years for this survey, children were assumed to be at the midpoint of the age-year for purposes of calculating BMI-for-age.
Treatment of Unknown Values: Unknown values (responses coded as 'refused', 'don't know', or system missing) are not included in the denominator when calculating prevalence estimates and weighted population counts displayed in the data query results table. In nearly every case, the proportion of unknown values is less than 1% and the exclusion of these values does not change the prevalence estimates (%) and only marginally affects the weighted population counts (Weighted Est.). Exceptions are noted in the form of a "Data Alert" at the bottom of a results table.
History and Development: The Maternal and Child Health Bureau leads the development of the NSCH survey and indicators, in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and a national technical expert panel. The expert panel includes representatives from other federal agencies, state Title V leaders, family organizations, and child health researchers. Previously validated questions and scales are used when available. Respondents’ cognitive understanding of the survey questions is assessed during the pretest phase and revisions made as required. All final data components are verified by NCHS and DRC/CAHMI staff prior to public release. The samples in 2003 and 2007 were drawn by random digit dial telephone sampling. The 2011/12 survey included the addition of cell phones to the sample. This has implications for the comparability of items between 2007 and 2011/12. More information can be found in the “Learn About the Surveys” section of this website.
Indicator 1.4a: How many children age 10-17 years are currently overweight or obese, based on Body Mass Index (BMI) for age? (details)
Notes: Click on the Column Header to sort the results by ascending or descending order.
To get a detailed explanation of the data HOVER over the text in the table.
This project of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Cooperative Agreement U59MC27866, The National Maternal and Child Health Data Resource Center. This information, content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. Additional support for DRC-related projects has come from other funding agencies, including the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health and Autism Speaks. The surveys that are the original sources of the data were conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. CAHMI is responsible for the analyses, interpretations, presentations and conclusions included on this site.
© 2012 The Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative