Overweight and Obesity among White, Black, and Mexican American Children: Implications for When to Intervene

Janice M. Long, Kennesaw State University
Nicole Mareno, Kennesaw State University
Rebecca Shabo, Kennesaw State University
Astrid Wilson, Kennesaw State University


Purpose. The study sought to determine if race/ethnicity, age, gender, and poverty index influence the development of overweight (OW) or obesity (OB) in children 6–11 years of age and whether a desirable time to intervene could be established.

Methods. A descriptive and comparative analysis was conducted using data from the 1999–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Results. Advancing age was the single largest predictor of OW or OB followed by race/ethnicity.

Practice Implications. Culturally sensitive interventions targeting children in their early elementary school years could reduce the consequences of OW and OB in childhood.