Fourth- and eighth-grade students in Texas are among the fattest in the country, shows a study published in the June issue of American Journal of Public Health (2004; 94 , 1002–8).
Researchers spent 1 year monitoring a sample of 6,630 children attending Texas public schools. They calculated body mass index using height and weight measurements and obtained demographic information from a questionnaire. Findings indicated that 22% in the fourth grade, 19% in the eighth grade and 15.5% in the 11th grade were overweight. These figures exceed the national goal of 5% that the HHS department has set for 2010.
The study also found that obesity was highest among Hispanic and black children, with Hispanic boys carrying the most weight (29.5%–32.6%). White girls in the 11th grade had the lowest prevalence of overweight (5.5%).