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Childhood obesity on the rise requires new category - severe obesity

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

New research that will be published in September has more compelling data about the need for early nutrition education.

Researchers looked at the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) ov over 12, 384 children. Their study showed that not only are kids becoming obese but they are becoming severely obese.

This is very sad and disturbing news. A new category has now been added for children whose body mass index (BMI) score is in the 99th percentile- severe obesity.

We now have 5 ratings for kids:

  • underweight - less than 5 percentile
  • normal weight - 5 to 84 percentile
  • overweight - 85 to 94% percentile
  • obese - 95 to 98 percentile
  • severe obesity - 99 or greater percentile
The research found that the prevelance of severe obesity has tripled from 1976-90 when compared to kids BMI scores in 1999-2004. This represents 2.7 severely obese children here in the United States.

I can say as a nurse, this is not just about being overweight. This is not about body image. These kids are at a much greater risk for heart disease, diabetes, amputations, joint disease, to mention just a few conditions. What kind of quality of life will they have when they become severely limited in their activities not just from weight but from these diseases.- and at a much younger age.

These were the facts, the statistics that made we want to do something to be part of the solution. The long term solution is educating children while they are young to have healthy habits, eat a balanced meal filled with healthy fruits and vegetables and to be active every day.

It is so much easier to keep a healthy weight than it is to try to lose weight (I speak from experience!)

But kids are growing which makes it a little easier for them. You can start with small, easy goals for the whole family. All kids need nutrition education, not just kids who are overweight.


Find out your child's BMI score.

Learn more about BMI scores for kids.

Set nutrition goals for the family to improve your nutrition and eating habits.

Track your nutrition and lifestyle goals with these cute kid-friendly tracking sheets so it is fun for the kids.




Monday, Aug 31, 2009 @ 08:50 AM

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Thanks for sharing the resources.I completely agree with you and would like to add that much of America's soaring rates of obesity and related incidence of diseases and strokes are caused by huge amount of refined carbohydrate we eat.Kids have developed a built in taste for pastas,donuts,tortillas, french fries because of the poor eating habits passed on by the parents.Poor eating habits can also result to stress among the children .So the goal must be to feed the right vitamins and other nutritional supplements to kids which comes in the form of all natural foods.Find out more on
Sunday, Sep 13, 2009 @ 12:43 AM

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the best solution for obesity is none other than Exercise and Proper diet. i would try to avoid slimming pills or fat burning food supplements
Dentist Roseville
Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 @ 02:04 AM

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This was a pertinent post. a fabulous article with an amazing level of detail! all of the information is so useful and relevant. Thanks for the great blog! - Shane

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