J Fam Pract
BACKGROUND: Our goal was to determine whether the prevalence of obesity in children who receive care in Michigan primary care practices is greater than national and state prevalences. METHODS: We compared prevalences of overweight children and adolescents in primary care practices with the results of the National Health Examination Survey (NHES), the National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys, and a contemporary survey of Michigan schoolchildren. We collected data from 19 rural family practice offices and 2 urban clinics. We measured the heights and weights of 993 consecutive patients aged 4 to 17 years who visited one of the participating practices during the spring of 1996. RESULTS: Obesity prevalences were the main outcome measure. Of the boys, 38% were above the 85th percentile of the NHES, and 16% were above the 95th percentile. Of the girls, 33% were above the 85th percentile, and 13% were above the 95th percentile. Prevalences of obesity were much higher among the primary care patients than in the results of the national surveys and the contemporary Michigan schoolchildren survey. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalences of obesity for children and adolescents presenting for care in Michigan primary care practices are higher than the prevalences documented in state and national surveys. A larger systematic study is needed to confirm or refute these findings. If this prevalence of obesity in primary care patients is confirmed, explanations for the differences should be explored.
3520, Adolescent, Age Distribution, Aged, Child, Child,Preschool, differences, Family, Family Practice, Family Practice: statistics & numerical data, Female, GRIN, Health, Health Surveys, Human, Male, Methods, Michigan, Michigan: epidemiology, Nutrition, Obesity, Obesity: epidemiology, Overweight, patient, Patients, Population Surveillance, Prevalence, primary care, Primary Health Care: statistics & numerical data, Research, Rural Health, Sex Distribution, survey, UPRNet, Urban Health