Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Colorado: Prevalence of Overweight and Obese American Indian and Alaska Native Children May Have Stabilized

The Colorado School of Public Health Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health and the Indian Health Service have released a new paper examining the prevalence of overweight and obese children who are American Indian or Alaska Native.

[Photo: Dr. Spero Manson]

It published on July 20 in the American Journal for Public Health.

The report, co-authored by professor of public health and psychiatry Dr. Spero Manson, who is also associate dean for research for the Colorado School of Public Health, sampled the largest and most comprehensive data set ever used – more than 184,000 children from 2006 to 2015 – to asses overweight AI/AN children.

“We obtained data from the Indian Health Service National Data Warehouse,” the report explains. “We calculated body mass index percentiles with the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth charts.” It evaluated children two-years-old to 19 between the years of 2006 and 2015, finding that boys in the population studied were more often overweight and obese than girls.

But the most drastic results of the study were of a much larger social scope than gender.

The report concludes that while prevalence of overweight and obesity children among the AI/AN population seems to have stabilized, it remains higher than that of non-native children in the us.