Child Health USA 2006
Photographs of children's faces
Health Status > Children


The National Survey of Children’s Health asked parents to give the height and weight of their children in order to determine their Body Mass Index (BMI). Overweight means that the child’s BMI, calculated from the parent-reported height and weight, is at or above the 95th percentile for sex and age. Overall, 14.8 percent of children aged 10 to 17 years were classified as overweight in 2003.

The prevalence of overweight varies by a number of factors, including race and ethnicity, age, and family income. Of children with family incomes below 100 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL), almost one-quarter (22.4 percent) were overweight, compared to 19.0 percent of children with family incomes between 100 and 199 percent FPL, 13.7 percent of children with family incomes between 200 and 399 percent FPL, and 9.1 percent of children with family incomes of 400 percent FPL or more. With regard to race and ethnicity, Non-Hispanic Black children were most likely to be overweight (23.5 percent) based on parent-reported height and weight, followed by Hispanic children (18.9 percent); White children were least likely to be overweight (12.0 percent). Multiracial children and children of other races have rates of overweight that are approximately equal (15.3 and 15.2 percent, respectively).


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Child Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Child Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.