A clear and significant increase in obesity continued from 1999 through 2014, according to an analysis of data on United States children and adolescents age 2 to 19 years.
In 2013-2014, 17.4% of children met criteria for class I obesity, 6.1% for class II, and 2.3% for class III, none statistically different than 2011-2012. Because children are growing, obesity is defined using BMI growth charts, but values are equivalent to an adult BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 for class 1 obesity. Class 2 obesity is a BMI of 35.0 to 39.9, and class 3 obesity is a BMI ?40.0.
The findings indicate no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence in any age group, despite clinical and policy efforts targeting the issue.
"Our study suggests that more than 4.5 million children and adolescents in the U.S. have severe obesity," said Dr. Asheley Skinner, lead author of the Obesity study. "We need to expand interventions that have shown success on local levels, and also look for completely new treatment approaches. Addressing obesity in children is going to require a true population health approach, combining efforts at individual, healthcare, community and policy levels."