Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012 | Obesity | JAMA Network
[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 34.237.138.69. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Original Investigation
February 26, 2014

Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland
  • 2United States Public Health Service, Rockville, Maryland
JAMA. 2014;311(8):806-814. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.732
Abstract

Importance  More than one-third of adults and 17% of youth in the United States are obese, although the prevalence remained stable between 2003-2004 and 2009-2010.

Objective  To provide the most recent national estimates of childhood obesity, analyze trends in childhood obesity between 2003 and 2012, and provide detailed obesity trend analyses among adults.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Weight and height or recumbent length were measured in 9120 participants in the 2011-2012 nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Main Outcomes and Measures  In infants and toddlers from birth to 2 years, high weight for recumbent length was defined as weight for length at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts. In children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific CDC BMI-for-age growth charts. In adults, obesity was defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30. Analyses of trends in high weight for recumbent length or obesity prevalence were conducted overall and separately by age across 5 periods (2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2009-2010, and 2011-2012).

Results  In 2011-2012, 8.1% (95% CI, 5.8%-11.1%) of infants and toddlers had high weight for recumbent length, and 16.9% (95% CI, 14.9%-19.2%) of 2- to 19-year-olds and 34.9% (95% CI, 32.0%-37.9%) of adults (age-adjusted) aged 20 years or older were obese. Overall, there was no significant change from 2003-2004 through 2011-2012 in high weight for recumbent length among infants and toddlers, obesity in 2- to 19-year-olds, or obesity in adults. Tests for an interaction between survey period and age found an interaction in children (P = .03) and women (P = .02). There was a significant decrease in obesity among 2- to 5-year-old children (from 13.9% to 8.4%; P = .03) and a significant increase in obesity among women aged 60 years and older (from 31.5% to 38.1%; P = .006).

Conclusions and Relevance  Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. Obesity prevalence remains high and thus it is important to continue surveillance.

×