Homepage

New Story

Updated School Nutrition Standards Are Effective

June 2019 — A 2019 USDA study found that school meals are considerably healthier under the updated school nutrition standards. We spoke with The Lunch Tray’s Bettina Elias Siegal about her thoughts on the study.

Read the Q&A
New Q&A

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.

Read More
New Data

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.

Read more
Policy

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.

Read More

Latest Data

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.

Read More and View Data

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Research

March 2019

Work Waivers

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.

Read More
November 2018

Energy Assistance

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.

Read More
September 2018

Eligibility

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.

Read More

Latest Data

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.

View Data

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.

Read the Q&A

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.

Read Overview

26.1%

In 2017, 26.1% of high school students met physical activity guidelines, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

Learn More

18.5%

In 2015-16, 18.5% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 had obesity, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

See the Data

13.9%

According to the same survey, in 1999-2000, 13.9% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 had obesity.

Learn More About Trends
Adult Obesity in the United States 2017

Latest Data

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%.

View Data
Updated: September 2018

Diabetes

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.

Diabetes Data
Updated: September 2018

Hypertension

Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension are in the South. West Virginia has the highest rate at 43.5%.

Hypertension Data
Updated: September 2018

Physical Inactivity 

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.

Physical Inactivity Data