Healthy for now? A cross-sectional study of the comorbidities in obese preschool children in the United States.
OBJECTIVE: Examine health of preschoolers by BMI status. METHODS: A cross-sectional analysis of children 3 to 5 years old in the 1999-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was carried out. The measured age- and sex-specific BMI percentiles were used to categorize children as very obese, obese, overweight, or healthy weight. The authors used logistic regression to examine the effect of weight status on 17 available measures of current child health potentially related to obesity. RESULTS: Except for very obese children, weight status had minimal effect on most measures of health for preschool-aged children (n = 2792). Parents of very obese children reported poorer general health and more activity limitations for their children. Additionally, very obese girls had more frequent/severe headaches, and overweight/obese boys had more asthma diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: Only severe obesity appears consistently related to immediate health problems in preschool-aged children. Parental perception that very obese children have worse health and more activity limitations may lead to decreases in physical activity, which would perpetuate obesity.
Cockrell Skinner, A; Perrin, EM; Steiner, MJ
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