Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Women of Childbearing Age: Results from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth
Objective To estimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity among U.S. women of childbearing age. Methods Our study population was drawn from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and consisted of non-pregnant female respondents aged 20–44 years with a valid body mass index (BMI) (N = 5,958). Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted to document variations in the prevalence of overweight and obesity by age, race and Hispanic origin, and socioeconomic status. Results Overall, 24.5% of women 20–44 years of age were overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9 kg/m2) and 23.0% were obese (BMI ≥ 30.0 kg/m2). Among those who were obese, 10.3% met the criteria for class II or III obesity (BMI ≥ 35.0 kg/m2). Non-Hispanic black and women were 2.25 times more likely to be overweight or obese compared to non-Hispanic white women (95% CI: 1.87–2.69). This disparity in risk between non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white women declined and no longer achieved statistical significance after adjustment for education, household income, and health insurance coverage. Conclusions Nearly one in two U.S. women of childbearing age are either overweight or obese. The racial/ethnic disparity in prevalence rates may be due in part to variability in educational attainment, household income, and stability of health insurance coverage.
KeywordsBody weight Epidemiology Health care surveys Women’s health
Dr. Vahratian was supported by the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program, National Institutes of Health (1 K12 HD 01438).
- 3.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2001). The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent or decrease overweight and obesity. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General.Google Scholar
- 4.National Center for Health Statistics. (2004). Public use data file documentation: National Survey of Family Growth Cycle 6: 2002. User’s Guide. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Google Scholar
- 5.Lepkowski, J. M., Mosher, W. D., Davis, K. E., Groves, R. M., van Hoewyk, J., & Willem, J. (2006). National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 6: Sample design, weighting, imputation, and variance estimation. Vital and Health Statistics, 2, 1–92.Google Scholar
- 6.National Center for Health Statistics. (2005). National Survey of Family Growth Cycle 6: 2002 ACASI File, User’s Guide and Documentation. Hyattsville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pp. 1–97.Google Scholar
- 7.World Health Organization. (1995). Physical status: the use and interpretation of anthropometry. Report of a WHO Expert Committee. WHO Technical Report Series 854. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
- 9.Kuczmarski, M. F., Kuczmarski, R. J., & Najjar, M. (2001). Effects of age on validity of self-reported height, weight, and body mass index: Findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994. Journal of the American Medical Association, 101, 28–34.Google Scholar