In the United States, more than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. These youth are more likely to be at risk for a variety of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and bone and joint problems, and have annual outpatient visit and prescription drug expenditures higher than children who are at a healthy weight. Passed by the Arkansas 84th General Assembly, Act 1220 of 2003 spearheaded initiatives to address obesity among public school-age children in Arkansas including the measurement of their height and weight and calculating their body mass index (BMI). The Arkansas Assessment of Childhood and Adolescent Obesity report details the results of statewide student BMI data collection, including weight classifications and BMI assessment participation rates for the past four years.
Act 1220 of 2003 established the first state-level legislation in the country to address the alarming rate of childhood obesity; The Act is aimed at making changes within public schools and school districts to encourage healthier lifestyles for students, school staff, and their families; This report focuses on the body mass index (BMI) assessments for all Arkansas public school students in grades K, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 including the process, types of reports generated, student and school participation rates, and state, school district and school level weight classification percentages.