Prevalence of obesity in American Indians and Alaska natives

B. A. Broussard, A. Johnson, J. H. Himes, M. Story, R. Fichtner, F. Hauck, K. Bachman-Carter, J. Hayes, K. Frohlich, N. Gray, S. Valway, D. Gohdes

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174 Scopus citations


Obesity is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, which are chronic diseases that afflict American Indians and Alaska Natives today. Because American Indians are not represented in most national health and nutrition surveys, there is a paucity of data on actual prevalence of obesity in American Indians. We estimated prevalence of overweight and obesity for American Indian adults, school-age children, and preschool children from existing data. The prevalence of obesity in adults was estimated from self-reported weights and heights obtained from a special survey of American Indians performed as part of the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey. Prevalence of obesity in American Indians was 13.7% for men and 16.5% for women, which was higher than the US rates of 9.1% and 8.2%, respectively. Obesity rates in American Indian adolescents and preschool children were higher than the respective rates for US all-races combined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1535S-1542S
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 1991


  • North American Indians
  • Obesity


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