Obesity among adolescents by race/ethnicity and disability: Analysis of state surveillance data from 2001 to 2010
Background: Despite growing concern over childhood obesity, limited attention has been given to obesity among children with disabilities. Although researchers frequently report higher rates of obesity among children from non-White groups, few have examined the relationship between race/ethnicity and obesity in children with disabilities. This study utilizes state-based population surveillance data to explore this relationship. Method: State-by-state analyses were performed on high school health surveillance data (n =57,360) administered between 2001 and 2010 from eight states. Obesity prevalence (BMI >= 85th%ile for sex-and-age) was compared among White, Black, Hispanic, and Other groups. For each group, differences in prevalence by disability status were compared using relative risk. 95% confidence intervals were used for statistical testing. Results: Obesity prevalence for non-White groups was significantly higher than for Whites across states excluding ND. White students with disability had 1.2 (RI) to 1.5 (VT) times higher risk of obesity than White students without disability. Increased risk was significant for all but two states (MA and ND). Students with disability in the Other race group had 1.1 (MA) to 1.6 (ND) times higher obesity rates than their non-disabled counterparts, though the difference was not significant for three states. Disability did not significantly increase obesity risk for Black and Hispanic students in the majority of states. Conclusion: Non-White high school students are more likely to be obese than Whites high school students across states. The presence of disability increases risk of obesity for Whites. The relationship between disability and obesity for non-White groups requires more study.
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Compare the prevalence of obesity among adolescents across four race/ethnic groups.
Describe the impact of disability on obesity risk for adolescents overall and among different race/ethnic backgrounds.
Keyword(s): Obesity, Disability
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an experienced analyst of national and state population survey data focusing on obesity among children and adults with disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.