The latest findings from CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that more and more children and teens are overweight, continuing the pattern the survey documented over the past two decades when the number of overweight children and teens nearly doubled. The initial results for 1999 show 13 percent of children ages 6 to 11 are overweight, up from 11 percent in the previous NHANES survey conducted from 1988 to 1994. The number of overweight teens ages 12 to 19 increased from 11 to 14 percent in the same time period.
"Overweight children are at risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and
other serious health problems. They are part of an epidemic of overweight and obesity
that must be addressed so that they can lead healthier lives," said Dr. Jeffrey
P. Koplan, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This
survey provides the critical information we need on overweight, diet and physical
activity to help develop the strategies for healthier children and families."
The latest data on overweight are being released today by Dr. Koplan at an Open
House of the state-of-the-art mobile examination center. The center is operated by
CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the nation's most
extensive health and nutrition survey. NHANES travels across the country to reach a
representative sample of the U.S. population, and is currently in DeKalb County where
more than 500 county residents will be asked to take part in the survey.
Coincidentally, CDC's headquarters is located in DeKalb County.
The NHANES open house is hosted by Dr. Koplan. The Honorable Cynthia McKinney, who
represents Georgia's 4th Congressional District in DeKalb County and the Honorable
Johnny Isakson who represents Georgia's 6th Congressional District are expected to
The mobile examination center utilizes the latest medical technology and is staffed
by a team of health personnel, including a physician, dentist, nutritionists, and
health and laboratory technicians. Tests performed include a physical examination by a
physician, as well as a dietary interview, body measurements, and dental examination.
There is also a fitness test, where many participants will walk on a treadmill while
technicians assess their cardiovascular health. Survey participants first complete a
health interview conducted in the home by a trained interviewer. No medical care is
provided in the examination center, but medical and dental reports of findings are
offered free to each participant. All individual information collected in the survey
is kept strictly confidential, and privacy is protected by public law.
NHANES takes the pulse of the nation's health, producing information such as the
number of Americans who have heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory
disease, tuberculosis and other conditions; the extent of risk factors such as high
cholesterol and overweight; and patterns of environmental exposure.
The information gathered by NHANES is used by public health officials, legislators,
and researchers to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs
and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation.