Complete Indicator Profile of Obesity - Children (Grades K-8) (HA2020 Leading Health Indicator: 5Bii)
DefinitionPercentage of students whose height and weight were measured in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades in participating school districts with sex- and age-specific BMIs from the 95th percentile and above based upon the CDC Growth Charts: United States.
NumeratorStudents whose height and weight were measured in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades in participating school districts with sex- and age-specific BMIs from the 95th percentile and above.
DenominatorStudents measured for BMI in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades in participating school districts with complete and valid measurements for height and weight.
Why Is This Important?Overweight and obesity affect a large proportion of the Alaska population and there has been an increase in the number of obese persons over the last decade. Many diseases and adverse health outcomes are associated with overweight and obesity, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and some types of cancer. In addition to genetic factors, an unhealthy diet and a lack of physical activity are both key contributors to rising obesity rates. It has been projected that, due to obesity, today's children may be the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Healthy People Objective NWS-10.2:Reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who are considered obese: Children aged 6 to 11 years
U.S. Target: 15.7 percent
State Target: HA 2020 Target: 15%
What Is Being Done?In collaboration with partners statewide, the Obesity Prevention and Control Program (the Program) provides professional development opportunities and technical assistance to school teachers and staff on evidence-based obesity prevention strategies appropriate for the school environment.
The program supports quality school-based physical education. With the Department of Education, the program recently helped develop Alaska Physical Education Standards which were adopted by the State Board of Education in July 2010. The program co-hosts the "Moving into Action: Combating Childhood Obesity" training for school nurse, health and PE teachers. The program co-hosted the PE Standards and Assessment training for PE teachers. Program staff encourages active transportation by helping coordinate Bike to Work Day and by fulfilling committee positions on the Anchorage.
The program facilitates a food policy council. The goal of the food policy council is to increase fruit and vegetable access, availability and consumption of fruits and vegetables.
The program also provides important surveillance data and publishes reports on the behaviors and risk factors that contribute to obesity to help community coalitions and partners identify and track health problems, and evaluate the effectiveness of obesity prevention efforts.
Evidence-based PracticesAs part of the Healthy Alaskans 2020 health improvement process, groups of Alaskan subject matter experts met over a period of months in a rigorous review process to identify and prioritize strategies to address the 25 health priorities. Public health partners around the state are aligning work around these approaches adapted to Alaska's unique needs.
Implement a comprehensive social marketing campaign promoting nutrition and physical activity. Choose campaign topics strategically; examples include limiting sugary drinks and the importance of family meals.
Citing The Community Guide and other reviews, the CDC recommends community-wide campaigns as effective in increasing physical activity, a contributing factor to maintaining a healthy weight.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increasing physical activity: A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. MMWR. 2001; 50 (RR-18): 1-16.
The Community Guide: http://www.thecommunityguide.org/pa/index.html
Kahn EB, Ramsey LT, Brownson RC, et al. The effectiveness of interventions to increase physical activity: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med. 2002; 22(4s): 73-107.
Increase the number of breastfeeding-friendly maternity facilities.
A systematic review from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) concluded that infants who are not breastfed are more likely than breastfed infants to experience a number of poor health outcomes, including obesity (Ip et al., 2007). A Cochrane review of studies found that one effective approach for increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration rates is through support for institutional changes in maternity care practices (Fairbank et al., 2000). Specifically, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative has been demonstrated to lead to improved breastfeeding rates (Philipp et al., 2001).
Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, et al. Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evid Rep Technol Assess. 2007; (153): 1-186.
Fairbank L, O'Meara S, Renfrew MJ, Woolridge M, Sowden AJ, Lister Sharp D. A systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to promote the initiation of breastfeeding. Health Technol Assess. 2000; 4(25):1-171.
Philipp BL, Merewood A, Miller LW, et al. Baby-friendly hospital initiative improves breastfeeding initiation rates in a US hospital setting. Pediatrics. 2001; 108(3):677-681.
Adopt and implement new school physical activity and nutrition policies, also known as "wellness policies".
Many of the evidence-based strategies to address childhood obesity (such as promoting quality PE and health education, and establishing a Safe Routes to School program) depend on the support of schools, communities, and parents to implement. Therefore a strategy recommended by the CDC, US DHHS and the IOM is to support the adoption and implementation of school physical activity and nutrition policies (also known as "wellness policies") by school districts.
CDC School Health Guidelines:
Institute of Medicine. Progress in preventing childhood obesity: How do we measure up? Koplan JP, Liverman CT, Kraak VI, Wisham, SL editors. Washington: National Academies Press; 2007.
US Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, January 2010.
USDA Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 SEC. 204 Local School Wellness Policy Implementation: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ296/pdf/PLAW-111publ296.pdf
Available ServicesAdditional information on current efforts to prevent obesity in Alaska: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/chronic/obesity/.
Related Relevant Population Characteristics Indicator Profiles:
Related Health Care System Factors Indicator Profiles:
Related Risk Factors Indicator Profiles:
Related Health Status Outcomes Indicator Profiles:
Graphical Data Views
Percentage of children (students in grades K, 1, 3, 5, and 7) who were obese, ASD and MSBSD (combined), 2003-2004 to 2019-2020
Data NotesHA 2020 Target: 15%
Data shown are for Anchorage School District (ASD) and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) (combined) for grades K, 1, 3, 5, and 7. Data for all years updated on 9/24/2014 to reflect introduction of new methodology.
Data SourcesSD School Districts participating in Obesity Prevention and Control Program student height and weight survey.
Percentage of children (students in grades K, 1, 3, 5, and 7) who were obese, ASD and MSBSD (combined) by sex, 2003-2004 to 2019-2020
Data NotesHA 2020 Target: 15%
Data shown are for Anchorage School District (ASD) and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) (combined) for grades K, 1, 3, 5, and 7.
References and Community ResourcesAdditional information on current efforts to prevent overweight and obesity in Alaska: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/chronic/obesity/.
More Resources and LinksAlaska and national goals may be found at the following sites:
Maps of health indicators for various subdivisions of Alaska may be found at the following site:
Evidence-based community health improvement ideas and interventions may be found at the following sites:
Additional indicator data by state and county may be found on these Websites:
Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.
For an on-line medical dictionary, click on this Dictionary link.
Page Content Updated On 06/30/2015, Published on 08/07/2015