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U.S. Has Fattest Teens

American kids heavier than those in 15 other countries

MONDAY, Jan. 5, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The United States had more overweight teenagers than any of 15 other countries included in a recent comparison, government researchers say.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compared the body mass index (BMI) of 29,242 boys and girls aged 13 to 15 from Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Flemish Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Ireland, Israel, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States.

The researchers found more young teens were overweight in the United States than anywhere else. Other countries with heavier children included Ireland, Finland and Greece.

About 12.6 percent of 13-year-old boys and 10.8 percent of 13-year-old girls were overweight in America. For 15-year-olds, about 13.9 percent of boys and 15.1 percent of girls were overweight.

Lithuanian teens were the least likely to be overweight. Other countries with comparatively thin teens include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Flemish Belgium, France, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden.

The findings are reported in the January issue of The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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SOURCES: The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, news release, Jan. 5, 2004
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