Prevalence and Trends in Obesity Among Hospitalized Children.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1542/hpeds.2019-0046


OBJECTIVES: As obesity rates rise in children, it is likely that the number of hospitalized children with obesity is also increasing. However, characterization of the inpatient population with obesity as a whole has not been reported. We aimed to examine trends in the annual prevalence of obesity in hospitalized children and to identify demographic and clinical characteristics associated with higher obesity prevalence in children who are hospitalized.

METHODS: We completed a retrospective cohort analysis of children aged 2 to 19 years admitted to a single tertiary children's hospital system for any reason in 2009-2016. Body mass index was calculated from documented height and weight. Children with obesity were defined by using age- and sex-specific body mass index percentile guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annual obesity prevalence was calculated on the encounter level for service line and All Patients Refined Diagnosis-Related Groups (diagnosis groups). χ

RESULTS: Of 83 329 children who were hospitalized, 17.0% had obesity, increasing from 16.5% of hospitalizations in 2009-2010 to 17.3% in 2015-2016 (

CONCLUSIONS: Some groups of children who were hospitalized experience higher obesity prevalence, including children hospitalized with orthopedic, infectious disease, and neurologic problems. In future research, investigators should target disproportionately affected groups by examining health outcomes, patient safety, and satisfaction issues.

Journal Title

Hosp Pediatr





First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Adenoidectomy; Adolescent; Body Mass Index; Cellulitis; Child; Child, Preschool; Cohort Studies; Continental Population Groups; Female; Headache; Hospitalization; Humans; Male; Medicaid; Missouri; Orthopedic Procedures; Pediatric Obesity; Poisoning; Prevalence; Retrospective Studies; Soft Tissue Infections; State Health Plans; Tonsillectomy; United States; Young Adult


Adenoidectomy; Body Mass Index; Cellulitis; Headache; Hospitalization; Medicaid; Missouri; Orthopedic Procedures; Pediatric Obesity; Poisoning; Prevalence; Soft Tissue Infections; State Health Plans; Tonsillectomy

Library Record