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Social Work


This study examined the prevalence of obesity and severe obesity among Mississippi K-12 public school students and the obesity rate differences within subgroups categorized by sex, race, and grade level. Anthropometric data from a weighted, representative sample of Mississippi public school students were collected through the biennial Child and Youth Prevalence of Obesity Survey (CAYPOS). Overall prevalence rates and those of the subgroups were calculated and compared. The 2017 data indicated that overall 23.7% of Mississippi public schools students met the criterion of class I obesity, 9.1% met the criterion of class II obesity, and 3.2% met the criterion of class III obesity. Among those with severe obesity, the prevalence was significantly higher among black students (10.9%) when compared to their white counterparts (7.3%) (p < 0.001), and among high school students (12.0%) when compared to elementary (6.5%) and middle school students (9.6%) (p < 0.001). As to racial differences by sex, black females had the highest severe obesity rates (11.9%), followed by black males (9.9%). White females had the lowest severe obesity rate (5.8%). At lower grade levels, black students had higher prevalence rates than whites but at 12th grade level the gap between the two races are almost closed. These findings were compared to other current studies in order to better evaluate the current health profiles of Mississippi public school students.


© Preventive Medicine Reports. Published version found at 10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101389.

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Preventive Medicine Reports



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