Data Limitations in Tracking Childhood Obesity in the United States

Rachel T. Cortes, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)

The level of childhood obesity in the United States is high, and has increased over the past 10 years .In addition, adult obesity is projected to increase for the next several decades. Childhood obesity is of particular interest because of its long term effects on health, as well as the correlation of obesity in childhood with obesity in adulthood. There are two main limitations with current data on obesity for those under age 18 in the United States: 1) Surveys rely heavily on self-reported or parent reported height and weight to assess obesity, which is not as accurate as direct measurement of height and weight; and 2) State-level data are not available annually for all states. This poster will illustrate these data limitations and explore their potential impact for the design and implementation of policies and programs to reduce childhood obesity.

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Presented in Poster Session 9