The National Obesity Monitor
Explore the latest national obesity data and trends over time, including by age group, sex, race and ethnicity. The data cover children as young as 2, all the way up to adults, and come from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is conducted every two years by the National Center for Health Statistics and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Boosting Physical Activity by Turning Streets and Other Public Spaces into Play Streets
August 2019 — Physical activity is important for our health—especially for children. But in rural communities—where there may be fewer resources, sidewalks, playgrounds, and parks—there often are fewer opportunities for kids to engage in the kind of physical activity that keeps them healthy and happy. Play Streets is one solution.
WIC Gives Children a Healthy Start
July 2019 —New data show obesity rates among 2- to 4-year-olds enrolled in WIC continue to decline. We sat down with Georgia Machell of the National WIC Association and Jim Weill of FRAC for their insights about the new data and the value of WIC.
Obesity Rates Decline Among Preschoolers in WIC
Data released in JAMA shows obesity rates among 2- to 4-year-olds enrolled in WIC declined from 15.9% in 2010 to 13.9% in 2016, with statistically significant decreases among all racial and ethnic subgroups.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
WIC helps low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 achieve and maintain a healthy weight by providing healthy foods and nutrition education; promoting breastfeeding and supporting nursing mothers; and providing healthcare and social-service referrals.
State Policies to Prevent Obesity
Strong state policies play a key role in improving access to healthy food and increasing physical activity, which are essential for helping children grow up at a healthy weight. This feature tracks the status of each state’s efforts on more than 20 policies aimed at preventing obesity and supporting health.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Research
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed a rule to tighten SNAP work waivers. A new analysis finds that more than 1 million SNAP participants could be affected, and that the vast majority of them live alone and in deep poverty.
Provisions included in the House Farm Bill would have resulted in up to 1.1 million households that received SNAP benefits in 2017 experiencing an up to $75 cut in their monthly benefit. The provision was not included in the Farm Bill that became law.
An earlier analysis found that about one in 11 households receiving SNAP benefits, roughly 2 million in total, would lose eligibility under certain provisions of the House Farm Bill. These provisions were removed before the bill was signed into law.
Nearly One in Six Young People Has Obesity
October 2018—Nationwide, 15.8 percent of young people ages 10 to 17 have obesity, according to the newest national data. Mississippi has the highest youth obesity rate, at 26.1 percent, while Utah has the lowest, at 8.7 percent.
Deeper Dive on New Youth Data
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA MCHB) funds and directs the annual National Survey of Children’s Health, which includes the new national and state-by-state obesity rate data for youth ages 10 to 17. We asked a few questions to Dr. Lydie Lebrun-Harris, a senior social scientist in the Office of Epidemiology and Research at HRSA MCHB about what the new data tell us.
The State of Childhood Obesity
The federal government monitors obesity rates among children and teens with major surveys that track national trends and state rates. According to NHANES (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), 18.5% of youth ages 2 to 19 had obesity in 2015-16, the highest rate ever documented by the survey.
In 2017, 26.1% of high school students met physical activity guidelines, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.
In 2015-16, 18.5% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 had obesity, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
According to the same survey, in 1999-2000, 13.9% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 had obesity.
Adult Obesity Rates Rise in Six States, Top 35% in Seven
September 2018 – Adult obesity rates increased in Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina between 2016 and 2017, and remained stable in the rest of states. The adult obesity rate was at or above 35% in seven states and at least 30% in 29 states. West Virginia has the highest adult obesity rate at 38.1% and Colorado has the lowest at 22.6%.
West Virginia has the highest rate of adult diabetes, 15.2%. Diabetes rates rose in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey and South Dakota between 2016 and 2017.
Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension are in the South. West Virginia has the highest rate at 43.5%.
Kentucky has the highest rate of physical inactivity among adults, 34.4%. Nine of the 10 states with the highest rates are in the South.