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Today more than 23 million U.S. children and adolescents are either obese or overweight. Hospital costs from obesity-related diseases in youth have increased from $35 million (0.43% of total hospital costs) during 1979 to 1981 to $127 million (1.79% of total costs) during 1997 to 1999. During the Pathway to Med School program, I collaborated with three other students to develop a research project on childhood and adolescent obesity. We conducted surveys at nine different primary care clinics in the southwest Georgia area. Approval was sought by the Institutional Review Board of Phoebe Putney Memorial Health System and Albany Area Primary Health Care. A total of 71 children and adolescents ages two to 18 were surveyed. I analyzed the data using chi-square, 2-way ANOVA, and 1-way ANOVA testing for significant relationships between body mass index and daily screen time, daily physical activity, and other variables. A relationship and significant difference was found in comparing body mass index between males and females. The males had a significantly higher BMI than the females. No relationship was found between daily screen time and body mass index, daily physical activity and body mass index, or perception of weight between males and females. There was no significant difference between the body mass index of children and adolescents surveyed who have insurance and those who do not have insurance, and the body mass index was not significantly affected by the healthy foods eaten weekly. The results indicated that a relationship does exist between sex and body mass index.

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