the survey parents were asked to give the height and weight of their
children; these were used to calculate the child's Body Mass Index
(BMI). Those children whose BMIs were at or above the 95th percentile
for their age were considered to be overweight. Overall, 14.8 percent
of children aged 10 to 17 years are classified as overweight.
The proportion of children who are overweight varies
by a number of factors, including sex. Based on parent-reported
height and weight, 18.1 percent of males are overweight, compared
to 11.5 percent of females.
Prevalence of overweight appears to decrease as age
increases: children aged 10 to 11 years are most likely to be overweight
(21.9 percent), followed by those aged 12 to 14 years (14.4 percent);
children aged 15 to 17 years are least likely to be overweight (10.7
The prevalence of overweight among children also
varies by race and ethnicity. Black children are most likely to
be overweight (23.5 percent) according to parent-reported height
and weight, followed by Hispanic children (18.9 percent); White
children are least likely to be overweight (12.0 percent). Multiracial
children and children of other races have rates of overweight that
are approximately equal (15.3 and 15.2 percent, respectively).
The prevalence of overweight decreases as family income
rises. Of children with family incomes below 100 percent of the
Federal poverty level (FPL), almost one-quarter (22.4 percent) are
overweight, compared to 19.0 percent of children with family incomes
between 100 and 199 percent of FPL, 13.7 percent of children with
family incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL, and 9.1 percent
of children with family incomes of 400 percent of FPL or more.
Overweight among children also appears to be related
to family structure. Children with two parents— either biological
or adoptive—are least likely to be overweight (12.2 percent).
Among children in twoparent families with at least one step-parent,
15.2 percent are overweight, while the same is true of 18.9 percent
of children with a single mother and no father present and 18.1
percent of children with other family structures.