Lack of physical activity and overweight status continues to be a significant health problem in the United States. To assess the actual prevalence of these problems, we reviewed data from the School-based Health Promotion Centers in one middle school, and one high school in central Kentucky. A total of 232 6th graders and 607 9th graders were included. A total of 92% of 6th graders and 45% of 9th graders reported complete lack of regular exercise. 37% of 9th graders and 59% of 6th graders had inappropriate nutrition, 47% of 9th graders and 33% of 6th graders had Body Mass Index over the 85th percentile for age. Among overweight adolescents, only 16% of 9th graders and 1% of 6th graders thought they were overweight. Since the body mass index data is derived from actual objective measurement, we conclude that overweight status is a significant problem in Kentucky and that the actual numbers may be higher than those reported for the State based on surveys and estimates. Furthermore, many adolescents are not aware of their weight problem and most of them do not participate in regular exercise.
Omar, Hatim A.; Merrick-Kenig, Efrat; and Merrick, Joav, "Obesity and Lack of Physical Activity" (2009). Pediatrics Faculty Publications. 147.