Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 16, Supplement 2, pp 268–277 | Cite as

Correlates of Overweight and Obesity Among American Indian/Alaska Native and Non-Hispanic White Children and Adolescents: National Survey of Children’s Health, 2007

  • Maria Ness
  • Danielle T. Barradas
  • Jennifer Irving
  • Susan E. Manning


Risk factors for overweight and obesity may be different for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children compared to children of other racial/ethnic backgrounds, as obesity prevalence among AI/AN children remains much higher. Using data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, behavioral (child’s sport team participation, vigorous physical activity, television viewing, and computer use), household (parental physical activity, frequency of family meals, rules limiting television viewing, and television in the child’s bedroom), neighborhood (neighborhood support, perceived community and school safety, and presence of parks, sidewalks, and recreation centers in the neighborhood), and sociodemographic (child’s age and sex, household structure, and poverty status) correlates of overweight/obesity (body mass index ≥85th percentile for age and sex) were assessed among 10–17 year-old non-Hispanic white (NHW) and AI/AN children residing in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota (n = 5,372). Prevalence of overweight/obesity was 29.0 % among NHW children and 48.3 % among AI/AN children in this sample. Viewing more than 2 h of television per day (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.0; 95 % confidence interval [CI] = 1.5–2.8), a lack of neighborhood support (aOR = 1.9; 95 % CI = 1.1–3.5), and demographic characteristics were significantly associated with overweight/obesity in the pooled sample. Lack of sport team participation was significantly associated with overweight/obesity only among AI/AN children (aOR = 2.7; 95 % CI = 1.3–5.2). Culturally sensitive interventions targeting individual predictors, such as sports team participation and television viewing, in conjunction with neighborhood-level factors, may be effective in addressing childhood overweight/obesity among AI/AN children. Longitudinal studies are needed to confirm these findings.


American Indian/Alaska Native Health disparities Obesity Adolescent health Adolescent physical activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA)  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Ness
    • 1
  • Danielle T. Barradas
    • 2
  • Jennifer Irving
    • 3
  • Susan E. Manning
    • 4
  1. 1.Oregon Public Health DivisionOffice of Family HealthPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Division of Reproductive HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health BoardNorthern Plains Tribal Epidemiology CenterRapid CityUSA
  4. 4.Career Epidemiology Field Officer ProgramCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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