Extreme Obesity Affecting More Children

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According to a Kaiser Permanente study of 710,949 children and teens, extreme obesity is affecting more children at younger ages, with 12 percent of black teenage girls, and 11.2 percent of Hispanic teenage boys now classified as extremely obese. In the study researchers used measured height and weight in electronic health records to conduct a cross-sectional study of 710,949 children ages 2 – 19 years in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California integrated health plan in 2007 and 2008. The children in the study had an average of 2.6 medical visits per year where height and weight were measured.
According to the recent CDC recommendations, extreme obesity is defined as more than 1.2 times the 95th percentile, or a body mass index (BMI) of more than 35 kilograms/meter squared. Obesity is defined as more than the 95th percentile or a BMI of more than 30 kg/m2. Overweight is defined as more than the 85th percentile or a BMI of more than 25 kg/m2. The study found that 7.3 percent of boys and 5.5 percent of girls were extremely obese.
The study appears online in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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