Complete Indicator Profile - Overweight - Children (Grades K-8) (HA2020 Leading Health Indicator: 5Bi)

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State of Alaska

Complete Indicator Profile of Overweight - Children (Grades K-8) (HA2020 Leading Health Indicator: 5Bi)


Overweight is determined by calculating the individual's body mass index (BMI) at or above the sex- and age-specific 85th percentile up to the 95th percentile based on CDC Growth Charts.


Students measured in Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades in participating school districts with sex- and age-specific BMI's from the 85th percentile up to the 95th percentile.


Students 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.

Other Objectives

HA 2020 Target: 15%

Evidence-based Practices

As 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. Below are the strategies identified for enhancing adolescent support systems.

Strategy 1:
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.

Evidence Base:
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:
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.

Strategy 2:
Increase the number of breastfeeding-friendly maternity facilities.

Evidence Base:
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.

Strategy 3:
Adopt and implement new school physical activity and nutrition policies, also known as "wellness policies".

Evidence Base:
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:

Available Services

Additional information on current efforts to prevent overweight in Alaska:

Related Indicators

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 overweight, ASD and MSBSD (combined), 2003-2004 to 2019-2020

::chart - missing::

ASD and MSBSD Percentage overweight in grades K, 1, 3, 5, and 7 Lower Limit Upper Limit
Record Count: 19
ASD and MSBSD 2003-2004 18.2% 17.0% 19.1%
ASD and MSBSD 2004-2005 17.7% 16.8% 18.6%
ASD and MSBSD 2005-2006 17.7% 17.0% 18.4%
ASD and MSBSD 2006-2007 17.7% 16.9% 18.5%
ASD and MSBSD 2007-2008 17.6% 16.9% 18.4%
ASD and MSBSD 2008-2009 18.0% 17.3% 18.7%
ASD and MSBSD 2009-2010 16.7% 16.0% 17.5%
ASD and MSBSD 2010-2011 17.0% 16.3% 17.7%
ASD and MSBSD 2011-2012 17.3% 16.5% 18.1%
ASD and MSBSD 2012-2013 16.7% 16.0% 17.5%
ASD and MSBSD 2013-2014 16.7% 16.0% 17.4%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2012-2013 12.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2013-2014 12.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2014-2015 12.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2015-2016 12.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2016-2017 12.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2017-2018 12.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2018-2019 12.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal 2019-2020 12.0%

Data Notes

HA 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 Sources

SD School Districts participating in Obesity Prevention and Control Program student height and weight survey. 1

References and Community Resources

Additional information on current efforts to prevent overweight and obesity in Alaska:

More Resources and Links

Alaska 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 12/04/2014, Published on 12/04/2014
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Wed, 28 January 2015 5:08:12 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 16:22:49 AKST