BACKGROUND: Several states have implemented childhood obesity surveillance programs supported by legislation. Representatives from Idaho wished to develop a model for childhood obesity surveillance without the support of state legislation, and subsequently report predictors of overweight and obesity in the state. METHODS: A coalition comprised of the Idaho State Department of Education and 4 universities identified a randomized cluster sample of schools. After obtaining school administrator consent, measurement teams traveled to each school to measure height and weight of students. Sex and race/ethnicity data were also collected. RESULTS: The collaboration between the universities resulted in a sample of 6735 students from 48 schools and 36 communities. Overall, 29.2% of the youth in the sample were classified as overweight or obese, ranging from 24.0% for grade 1 to 33.8% for grade 5. The prevalence of overweight and obesity across schools was highly variable (31.2 ± 7.58%). Hierarchical logistic regression indicated that sex, age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and region were all significant predictors of overweight and obesity, whereas school was not. CONCLUSIONS: This coalition enabled the state of Idaho to successfully estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity on a representative sample of children from all regions of the state, and subsequently identify populations at greatest risk.
- Body mass index
- Childhood obesity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health