State Disparities in Time Trends of Adolescent Body Mass Index Percentile and Weight-Related Behaviors in the United States
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Evidence is conflicting as to whether youth obesity prevalence has reached a plateau in the United States overall. Trends vary by state, and experts recommend exploring whether trends in weight-related behaviors are associated with changes in weight status trends. Thus, our objective was to estimate between-state variation in time trends of adolescent body mass index (BMI) percentile and weight-related behaviors from 2001 to 2007. A time series design combined cross-sectional Youth Risk Behavior Survey data from 272,044 adolescents in 29 states from 2001 to 2007. Self-reported height, weight, sports participation, physical education, television viewing, and daily consumption of 100% fruit juice, milk, and fruits and vegetables were collected. Linear mixed models estimated state variance in time trends of behaviors and BMI percentile. Across states, BMI percentile trends were consistent despite differences in behavioral trends. Boys experienced a modest linear increase in BMI percentile (ß = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.30); girls experienced a non-linear increase, as the rate of increase declined over time from 1.02 units in 2001–2002 (95% CI: 0.68, 1.36) to 0.23 units in 2006–2007 (95% CI: −0.09, 0.56). States in which BMI percentile decreased experienced a greater decrease in TV viewing than states where BMI percentile increased. Otherwise, states with disparate BMI percentile trends did not differ with respect to behaviors. Future research should explore the role of other behaviors (e.g., soda consumption), measurement units (e.g., portion size), and societal trends (e.g., urban sprawl) on state and national adiposity trends.