Trends in Early Childhood Obesity in a Large Urban School District in the Southwestern United States, 2007-2014.

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INTRODUCTION: Although recent studies indicate that rates of childhood obesity and severe obesity may be declining, few studies have reported prevalence trends in early childhood or differences in trends across sociodemographic groups. The primary aim of this study was to report trends in prevalence of early childhood obesity and severe obesity 2007 through 2014 in a diverse, metropolitan school district in the southwestern United States and determine whether these trends vary by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and disability status.

METHODS: We analyzed height, weight and demographic data from 43,113 kindergarteners enrolled in a large, urban school district in the southwestern United States for 7 school years. Adjusted odds of obesity and severe obesity were calculated to assess changes in prevalence for non-Hispanic white, Hispanic, and American Indian students; free or reduced-price lunch participants and nonparticipants; and students with and without disabilities. To test for differences in obesity trends, interaction terms were added to the logistic regressions between school year and sex, race/ethnicity, free or reduced-price lunch participation, and disability status.

RESULTS: The adjusted prevalence of both obesity (from 13.1% in 2007-2008 to 12.0% in 2013-20014) and severe obesity (from 2.4% in 2007-2008 to 1.2% in 2013-2014) declined overall. We found no significant interactions between the adjusted prevalence of obesity over time and any of the sociodemographic subgroups. Obesity prevalence declined more among American Indian students than among Hispanic or non-Hispanic white students.

CONCLUSION: In this district, from 2007 through 2014, severe obesity decreased and obesity did not increase, overall and across all sociodemographic subpopulations for kindergarten students.

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Preventing chronic disease [electronic resource]





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