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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

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Prevalence of obesity among youths in Mississippi: United States, 1999–2015

Rasaki Aranmolate
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Jackson State University, 1400 J.R. Lynch St., Jackson, MS 39217, USA
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Published Online: 2017-11-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0143



The prevalence of obesity among youths has become a public health problem. The trend in the prevalence of obesity among high school students in Mississippi has not been examined in the last 17 years.


The data from the Mississippi High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 1999 to 2015 were used to determine the prevalence of obesity. The definition of obesity was based on age- and sex-specific body mass index (BMI) of more than 95th percentile, according to 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) growth charts. The differences in the groups were examined using the univariate t-test statistical analysis at p < 0.05 and frequency distribution to determine the percentage differences.


There was a decline in the prevalence of obesity from 1999 to 2015 among Whites but no significant decrease among Blacks. The prevalence based on race in 2105 was 18.9%, which is higher than 14.4% in 1999 and remaining years. The rate of obesity based on race and sex was 27.7% among Blacks and 15.9% among White males in 2015. The Black females had prevalence of 20.6%, which is higher than their White counterpart (12.1%) in 2015 and previous years.


The prevalence of obesity among Blacks was higher when compared to White students. There was an increased prevalence of obesity in males over females. Students in 9th and 10th grade had a higher prevalence of obesity than those in 11th and 12th grade.

Keywords: Mississippi; obesity; prevalence; youths


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About the article

Received: 2017-08-18

Accepted: 2017-08-25

Published Online: 2017-11-23

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170143, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0143.

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