According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the last 30 years, obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents. Since 1980 the percentage of children aged 6-11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2012. The purpose of the research was to collate, analyze, and compare body mass index (BMI)-for-age percentile results of children participating in a summer nutrition research program in Arkadelphia, AR, with the BMI-for-age percentiles of children in Arkansas, the United States and worldwide. The BMI-for-age percentiles for each participant in the program during the eight years of the study were compiled by age, gender and ethnicity into one document. Some participants repeated the program multiple years, and their BMI-for-age percentile changes were tracked from year to year. A total of 408 students (189 males and 219 females) ages 3-14 were studied from 2007-2014. Within those gender groups were three ethnicities: Caucasian (220), African American (178), and Hispanic (6), as well as four without ethnicity listed. Summer research BMI-for-age percentile weight status category results were 1% underweight, 62% healthy weight and 37% overweight/obese. Results are similar for Arkansas (2% underweight, 59% healthy weight, and 39% overweight/obese) and the Untied States (4% underweight, 64% healthy weight, and 32% overweight/obese). The numbers vary with worldwide statistics of 15% underweight, 65% healthy weight, and 20% overweight/obese). Results of the children who participated more than one summer in the eight summer research program were: 128 students who had been evaluated returned to the summer program for two (96), three (29), or four years (3). The results showed that 99 participants’ weights remained the same, 14 gained weight, 11 lost weight, and 4 fluctuated between weight loss and weight gain. Abstract
Carpenter, Lauren; Tual, Emily; and Brech, Detri, "Vast difference of obesity in American children compared to children worldwide" (2016). Scholars Day. 17.