Measuring the prevalence of overweight in Texas schoolchildren

Deanna M. Hoelscher, R. Sue Day, Eun Sul Lee, Ralph F. Frankowski, Steven H. Kelder, Jerri L. Ward, Michael E. Scheurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Objectives. We describe results from year 1 of a surveillance system to monitor body mass index in children at the state level. Methods. A sample of 6630 children attending Texas public schools, weighted to represent 4th, 8th, and 11th grades within race/ethnic subpopulations, was assessed. Body mass index was calculated from measured height and weight; demographic information was obtained from a questionnaire. Results. Prevalence of overweight was 22.4%, 19.2%, and 15.5% for 4th-, 8th-, and 11th-grade students, respectively. Overweight prevalence was highest among Hispanic boys (29.5%-32.6%), fourth-grade Hispanic girls (26.7%), and fourth-and eighth-grade African American girls (30.8% and 23.1%, respectively). Eleventh-grade White/other girls had the lowest prevalence of overweight (5.5%). Conclusions. These data confirm the increasing prevalence of overweight among US children, especially among Hispanic and African American students compared to White/other students and fourth-grade students relative to 8th- and 11th-grade students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1008
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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