Prevalence of Pediatric Obesity in the United States

 

Most nurse practitioners (NP) are aware that the rates of pediatric obesity have been increasing over the last 20 years. The following chart has been accessed through the CDC website.

 

Table 1. Prevalence of obesity among U.S. children and adolescents aged 2-19, for selected years 1963-1965 through 2007-2008

Age (in years)1 NHANES
1963-1965
1966-19702
NHANES
1971-1974
NHANES
1976-1980
NHANES
1988-1994
NHANES
1999-2000
NHANES
2001-2002
NHANES
2003-2004
NHANES
2005-2006
NHANES
2007-2008
Total (3) 5.0 5.5 10.0 13.9 15.4 17.1 15.5 16.9
2-5 (3) 5.0 5.0 7.2 10.3 10.6 13.9 11.0 10.4
6-11 4.2 4.0 6.5 11.3 15.1 16.3 18.8 15.1 19.6
12-19 4.6 6.1 5.0 10.5 14.8 16.7 17.4 17.8 18.1

 

Note that the rates of pediatric obesity have risen over the years in all age groups. It is also important to note that the CDC reports that black and hispanic children have significantly higher obesity rates than their non-Hispanic White counterparts (CDC, 2011).

So what children and their parents need counseling about prevention of pediatric obesity?

All children and their parents should receive counseling about prevention of pediatric obesity from their primary care providers. Although the rates are higher for some ethnicities, pediatric obesity is a problem that crosses all ages and races of children.