Prevalence of overweight among Baltimore City schoolchildren and its associations with nutrition and physical activity

Megan Jehn, Joel Gittelsohn, Margarita S. Treuth, Benjamin Caballero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of overweight and at-risk-for-overweight in schoolchildren from Baltimore City. Research Methods and Procedures: Ten schools within city limits were randomly selected from each tertile of income, using eligibility for free school lunch as a proxy. A total of 209 third grade students from eight public schools in Baltimore City were surveyed in May 2000. Anthropometric data including height, weight, subscapular and triceps skinfold thickness, and percentage body weight from bioelectrical impedance were collected. Nutrition-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors were assessed using a validated questionnaire. Physical activity was assessed by questionnaire. Results: Based on International Obesity Taskforce reference values for BMI-for-age, 20.7% of girls and 17.2% of boys were overweight (BMI > 95th percentile) and 15.3% of girls and 14.1% of boys were at-risk-for-overweight (BMI between the 85th and 95th percentiles). The prevalence of overweight and at-risk-for-overweight did not vary by self-reported physical activity levels or by nutrition-related knowledge and behaviors. Discussion: The high prevalence of overweight and at-risk-for-overweight in this sample of inner-city children from Baltimore City highlights a need for targeted preventive and treatment interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-993
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006



  • Children
  • Diet
  • Overweight
  • Physical activity
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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