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The Prevalence of Childhood Overweight and Obesity in a Health Maintenance Organization in Hawaii
Hawai'i Medical Journal (2011)
  • MariaIliana J. Stark
  • Victoria Niederhauser, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Janet M. Camacho
  • Lance Shirai

In the past 20-30 years, the number of overweight children in the United States has doubled.1 Overweight children are acquiring conditions such as hypertension, type II diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, sleep apnea, and orthopedic problems. The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of and factors associated with at risk and overweight in children 2-10 years of age in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) in Hawai'i. This quantitative, retrospective cross-sectional study included a stratified random sample of 554 children ages 2-10 years who received a well child health care exam at a HMO in 2003. The prevalence of at risk and overweight were examined including the relationship between ethnicity, socioeconomic status, place of residence, and a child being overweight. Thirteen percent were at risk for overweight (BMI 85-95%) and 19% (BMI >95%) were overweight. In the 6-10 year age group, 42 % were overweight or at risk for being overweight. Boys had a higher incidence of being overweight (54%) than the girls (46%). Pacific Islanders had the highest incidence of overweight (40%), followed by the Hawaiian/Part Hawaiians (19%) and Filipinos (19%). Ethnicity and place of residence were significantly associated with being at risk or overweight. Pacific Islanders were 4 times more likely to be overweight/at risk for overweight and those residing in the West O'ahu, Honolulu, and Central O'ahu/North Shore areas were 2-3 times more likely to be at risk for overweight when compared to children living in the Windward side. With increased age, the prevalence of overweight increased. Findings suggest that targeted obesity prevention strategies need to be initiated early in life and geared for ethnically and geographically diverse children and their families.

  • obesity,
  • childhood obesity,
  • hawai'i,
  • health
Publication Date
July, 2011
Citation Information
MariaIliana J. Stark, Victoria Niederhauser, Janet M. Camacho and Lance Shirai. "The Prevalence of Childhood Overweight and Obesity in a Health Maintenance Organization in Hawaii" Hawai'i Medical Journal Vol. 70 Iss. 7 (2011)
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