Submitted to: Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 20, 2003
Publication Date: August 1, 2003
Citation: BUTTE, N.F., ELLIS, K.J. 2003. COMMENT ON "OBESITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?" SCIENCE 30l(5633):598b. Technical Abstract: The prevalence of overweight in U.S. children is increasing at alarming rates. We measured 1-year weight gains and estimated energy storage from precise body composition measurements using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry in 337 Hispanic children (mean age 11.9 +/- 3.6 years; range 5 to 19 years). Median 1-year weight gain of all the children was 12 +/- 9 pounds/year; however, weight gain differed by body mass index (BMI) status. The median weight gain in normal-weight children who remained normal-weight (n=141) was 9 pounds/year (range -11 to 22 pounds/year); the median weight gain in overweight children (defined as having a BMI in the 95th percentile; n=167) was 16 pounds/year (range -12 to 39 pounds/year). The median energy storage in normal-weight children was 45 kcal/day, with a 90th percentile of 108 kcal/day. In overweight children, the median was 113 kcal/d and the 90th percentile was 203 kcal/day; in normal-weight children who became overweight, the median was 104 kcal/day and the 90th percentile was 164 kcal/day. Halting the epidemic of childhood obesity will require a significant and concerted societal effort to change the way our children are eating and to increase their physical activity.