Study indicates Alaska students' weight trends leveling off

The Anchorage Daily NewsFebruary 24, 2009 

The bad news: One in three Anchorage School District students is overweight.

The good news: That number plateaued five years ago and is remaining steady.

New data compiled by the Alaska Division of Public Health in collaboration with the School District calls the problem of heavyset kids in the city's public schools significant but also says the leveling of the trend is hopeful.

The study released Monday took a look at a decade's worth of School District data on body mass indexes. It classified kids into categories of underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese.

Last year, 18 percent of the district's 50,000 students fell into the overweight class, and another 18 percent were worse off and considered obese.

Among the findings:

• Older students are more likely to be fat than younger students.

• Plump children in elementary school are likely to keep the extra weight into their teens.

• Anchorage's boys are tipping the scales more than girls.

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