Availability of State-Based Obesity Surveillance Data on High School Students with Disabilities in the United States

Academic Article


  • The aim of this study was to assess the availability of public health surveillance data on obesity among American children with disabilities in state-based surveillance programs. We reviewed annual cross-sectional datasets in state-level surveillance programs for high school students, implemented 2001–2011, for the inclusion of weight and height and disability screening questions. When datasets included a disability screen, its content and consistency of use across years were examined. We identified 54 surveillance programs with 261 annual datasets containing obesity data. Twelve surveillance programs in 11 states included a disability screening question that could be used to extract obesity data for high school students with disabilities, leaving the other 39 states with no state-level obesity data for students with disabilities. A total of 43 annual datasets, 16.5 % of the available datasets, could be used to estimate the obesity status of students with disabilities. The frequency of use of disability questions varied across states, and the content of the questions often changed across years and within a state. We concluded that state surveillance programs rarely contained questions that could be used to identify high school students with disabilities. This limits the availability of data that can be used to monitor obesity and related health statuses among this population in the majority of states.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yamaki K; Lowry BD; Buscaj E; Zisko L; Rimmer JH
  • Start Page

  • 1152
  • End Page

  • 1161
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 5