Secular trends in weight status and weight-related attitudes and behaviors in adolescents from 1999 to 2010

Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Melanie M. Wall, Nicole Larson, Mary Story, Jayne A. Fulkerson, Marla E. Eisenberg, Peter J. Hannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine secular trends from 1999 to 2010 in weight status and weight-related attitudes and behaviors among adolescents. Methods: A repeated cross-sectional design was used. Participants were from Minneapolis/St. Paul middle schools and high schools and included 3072 adolescents in 1999 (mean age14.6 ± 1.8) and 2793 adolescents in 2010 (mean age14.4 ± 2.0). Trends in weight-related variables were examined using inverse probability weighting to control for changes in socio-demographics over time. Results: The prevalence of obesity among boys increased by 7.8% from 1999 to 2010, with large ethnic/racial disparities. In black boys the prevalence of obesity increased from 14.4% to 21.5% and among Hispanic boys, obesity prevalence increased from 19.7% to 33.6%. Trends were more positive among girls: weight status did not significantly increase, perceptions of overweight status were more accurate, the use of healthy weight control behaviors remained high, dieting decreased by 6.7%, unhealthy weight control behaviors decreased by 8.2% and extreme weight control behaviors decreased by 4.5%. Conclusions: Trends indicate a need to intensify efforts to prevent obesity and other weight-related problems, particularly for boys from ethnic/racial minorities. The decreases in unhealthy weight control behaviors among girls are encouraging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalPreventive medicine
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project described was supported by grant number R01HL084064 (D. Neumark-Sztainer, principal investigator) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Dieting
  • Obesity
  • Racial disparities
  • Secular trends
  • Weight control

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