DefinitionPercentage of 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. 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.
NumeratorStudents 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.
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.
Data Interpretation IssuesAlthough the prevalence of overweight is presented independent of obesity in this report, interpretation of the overweight results should be conducted in the context of data on obesity prevalence. Subpopulations may have relatively low rates of overweight paired with relatively high rates of obesity. It is the combination of overweight and obesity prevalence that gives the most complete picture of risk for weight related health conditions.
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 ObjectivesHealthy Alaskans 2020 Indicator 5.b.i: Reduce the percentage of children (students in grades K-8) who meet criteria for overweight (age- and sex-specific body mass index of ≥85th and <95th percentile) to 15% by 2020.
How Are We Doing?For the 2015-2016 academic year, students in K, 1, 3, 5, and 7 grades in the combined Anchorage School District (ASD) and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District (MSBSD) had an overweight rate of 16.9% overall and 19.8% among Alaska Native students. These rates are above the Healthy Alaskans 2020 goal of no more than 15% of students being overweight.
For the combined risk factor of being overweight or obese in the 2015-2016 academic year, 34.5% of students in these grades were overweight or obese. Alaska Native students had a significantly higher rate of 42.2% being overweight or obese. The Healthy Alaskans 2020 combined goal of no more than 30% being overweight or obese has not been met.
Evidence-based PracticesAs part of the Healthy Alaskans 2020 health improvement process, groups of Alaska 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.
[[br]]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.
[[br]]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.
[[br]]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.
[http://www.thecommunityguide.org/pa/index.html 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.
[[br]]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.
[http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/npao/strategies.htm 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 [http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ296/pdf/PLAW-111publ296.pdf Local School Wellness Policy Implementation]
A listing of strategies, actions, and key partners on this measure can be found at: [http://hss.state.ak.us/ha2020/assets/Actions-Partners_5_Overweight_Youth.pdf].