Of the 501 children, 52% were female and the mean age was 7.2 years, with no significant differences by community area. The sociodemographic characteristics of race and income reflect the 2000 Census estimates shown in .
presents the proportion of children aged 2–12 years who had a BMI for age ≥95th percentile. The prevalence of obesity in the five predominantly minority communities was two to three times higher than the prevalence in the U.S. as a whole (16.8%, weighted mean for children aged 2–11 years), even when compared with non-Hispanic black (18.4%) or Mexican American (21.0%) children nationally. The proportion of obese children in the five minority communities was also significantly higher than that for the non-Hispanic white community of Norwood Park (p<0.01). For instance, children in South Lawndale (34.0%), a predominantly Mexican American community, were nearly three times as likely to be obese as children in Norwood Park (11.8%). Children in Roseland (56.4%), a predominantly African American community, were nearly five times as likely to be obese as children in Norwood Park.
Prevalence of obesity (BMI for age $95th percentile) among children aged 2–12 years in six Chicago communities compared with the U.S.a
The proportion of children who had a BMI for age ≥85th percentile was also significantly higher in the five minority communities and lower in the non-Hispanic white community compared with the U.S. (). For instance, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in West Town (68.7%) and Roseland (66.2%) was more than twice as high as the U.S. (32.8%) and more than three times as high as Norwood Park (19.2%, p<0.001).
Prevalence of overweight and obesity (BMI for age $85th percentile) among children aged 2–12 years in six Chicago communities compared with the U.S.a
presents the prevalence of obesity among children living in all six communities combined, stratified by eight demographic and behavioral risk factors that potentially influence weight status. No significant difference was observed in the proportion of obese children by gender, age, birthplace, or food consumption. However, when all of the factors significantly associated with an increased prevalence of obesity (i.e., community area, race/ethnicity, household income, and TV time) were entered into a logistic regression model, only race/ethnicity and household income remained significantly associated with obesity status (data not shown). Specifically, Mexican American (odds ratio [OR] = 5.34, CI 1.43, 19.90), Puerto Rican (OR = 4.88, CI 1.18, 20.16), and non-Hispanic black (OR = 4.64, CI 1.27, 17.03) children remained at significantly higher risk of being obese when compared with non-Hispanic white children. Children living in households with a household income of <$50,000 a year were significantly more likely to be obese than children living in households with incomes of ≥$50,000 a year (OR = 3.2, CI 1.4, 7.4). Other variables associated with activity and food consumption were almost all correlated in the expected direction, but not significantly so.
Prevalence of childhood obesity (BMI for age $95th percentile) in six Chicago community areas by selected demographic and behavioral risk factors, Sinai Improving Community Health Survey, 2002–2003