Three in 10 U.S. Kids are Overweight or Obese

Posted January 30, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog 3in10uskidsareoverweight 2017

From 2015 to 2016, 31% of chil­dren ages 10 to 17 were cat­e­go­rized as over­weight or obese. This sta­tis­tic varies slight­ly by gen­der, with boys more fre­quent­ly affect­ed than girls (33% of boys ver­sus 29% of girls).

At the state lev­el: Chil­dren liv­ing in the South and Rust Belt states are more like­ly to be over­weight or obese than are their peers in oth­er parts of the coun­try. In Rhode Island — the state with the high­est rates of over­weight or obese kids — 39% of chil­dren ages 10 to 17 fit this sta­tis­tic. At the oth­er end of the data spec­trum sits Ore­gon, where just 16% of chil­dren are over­weight or obese.

Chil­dren who have con­cern­ing body mass index scores, which are used to clas­si­fy chil­dren as over­weight or obese, can expe­ri­ence last­ing phys­i­cal and socio-emo­tion­al prob­lems. This includes a greater risk of devel­op­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, Type 2 dia­betes, sleep apnea, high cho­les­terol and asthma.

While phys­i­cal activ­i­ty plays a key role in main­tain­ing a healthy lifestyle — and a healthy weight — near­ly half (47%) of chil­dren in the Unit­ed States do not exer­cise reg­u­lar­ly. By pro­mot­ing phys­i­cal activ­i­ty and healthy eat­ing and by lim­it­ing seden­tary behav­iors, such as screen time, adults and care­givers can help reduce this sta­tis­tic and improve the long-term well-being of America’s kids.

Access more health data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center:

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