Secular Trends of Overweight and Obesity in Young Southern Californians 2008-2013

Corinna Koebnick, Yasmina D. Mohan, Xia Li, Deborah R. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To investigate secular trends in pediatric obesity in Southern California between 2008 and 2013.

STUDY DESIGN: In a population-based cohort study, measured weight and height were extracted from electronic health records of 1,331,931 patients aged 2-19 years who were enrolled in an integrated prepaid health plan between 2008 and 2013. Outcomes were the prevalence of overweight and obesity (body mass index-for-age ≥85th percentile).

RESULTS: The prevalence of obesity was 19.1% in 2008 and decreased by 1.6% (95% CI, 1.7%-1.5%) by 2013, corresponding to a relative decline of 8.4%. A significant decline was observed across all ages, sexes, races, and socioeconomic groups, but the magnitude of the decrease varied. The relative decline in obesity was stronger in boys (-9.3%) than in girls (-7.2%), in children aged 2-5 years (-15.4%) and 6-11 years (-11.8%) than in adolescents aged 12-19 years (-4.5%), and in whites (-12.6%) and Asians (-12.2%) than in Hispanics (-6.9%) and African Americans (-7.5%).

CONCLUSION: Secular trends from this large population-based cohort suggest that overweight and obesity in boys and girls are declining across age and racial/ethnic groups. However, the declines are less pronounced in adolescents compared with children, in girls, and in some minority groups. Programs addressing childhood obesity may need to be targeted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1264-1271
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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