America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being

July 19, 2007

Last Friday we released the 10th anniversary edition of America’s Children, a product of the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.

The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (Forum) is a collection of 22 Federal government agencies involved in research and activities related to children and families. The Forum was founded in 1994 and formally established in April 1997 under Executive Order No. 13045. The mission of the Forum is to foster coordination and collaboration and to enhance and improve consistency in the collection and reporting of Federal data on children and families. The Forum also aims to improve the reporting and dissemination of information on the status of children and families.

Quite a bit of media interest was generated (here | here) on the subject of teen sexual behavior but there was much more to the report. The full report is available here and our overview of the data on health indicators which we contributed to is below the fold.

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More Obesity Resources

July 18, 2007

We’ve written a couple of times on the subject of overweight and obesity. However, some of our research has been published in scholarly journals rather than on our website.

The journal Obesity: Racial and Ethnic Differences in Secular Trends for Childhood BMI, Weight, and Height

The journal Gastroenterology: The Epidemiology of Obesity. More data on overweight and at-risk of overweight in children.

The Journal of the American Medical Association. Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity.

The journal Clinical Nutrition and Obesity. Childhood Overweight and Family Income in the United States, 1999-2004.


Morbid Obesity

June 13, 2007

Overweight and obesity data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the National Center for Health Statistics show obesity increasing among Americans of all ages.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index  (BMI) of 30 or greater.

There is a subset of obesity called morbid or extreme obesity which is defined as having a BMI of 40 or greater or weighing in excess of 100 pounds of one’s ideal weight. The National Center for Health Statistics does not track that number.

 However several of our scientists, writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) do report on this particular condition.  For the period 2003-2004 almost 5 percent of adults were extremely obese.

There JAMA articles can be found here and here.


Overweight and obesity

April 17, 2007

The National Center for Health Statistics provides the “gold standard” for the study of overweight and obesity through the data produced by its National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

Unlike some surveys which are conducted by telephone and rely upon self-reported height/weight information, the NHANES provides height and weight data acquired in a clinical setting.

While the telephone survey data are compiled at state and metropolitan statistical area level of detail the NHANES data are only available as national level data.

Links to NCHS overweight and obesity data from 1960 through the most recent are located here on the NCHS website.

We have recently produced data covering children 0-2 years of age and 2-5 years of age.