Childhood Obesity Rates Vary from State to State

Childhood obesity rates range from less than 10 percent in the Pacific Northwest to more than 30 percent in the deep south, a new report shows.

While childhood obesity is seen as a national epidemic in the United States, a new report scheduled to appear in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that the obesity rate among children varies greatly from state to state.

Researchers at the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Maryland studied data from a geographic analysis of the pervasiveness of obesity across the country. Scientists compared data on more than 46,000 children ranging in age from 10 to 17 in 2003 with that of more than 44,000 children in 2007.

In 2007 16.4 percent of American children were considered obese and 31.6 percent were overweight. According to the study, Mississippi had the highest rate of childhood obesity, with 29.1 percent of children being obese and 44.5 percent overweight. Oregon had the lowest childhood obesity rate of all 50 states, with just 9.6 percent. The study also showed that the variations of obesity rates were higher among girls than boys.

“Between 2003 and 2007, obesity prevalence increased by 10 percent for all U.S. children and by 18 percent for female children, declined by 32 percent for children in Oregon and doubled among female children in Arizona and Kansas,” the authors write.

Interestingly, the patterns of obesity in children across the U.S. are similar to those in the adults. The states with the highest childhood obesity problems are predominantly in the South, including Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee. Not surprisingly, data also showed that children in these regions engaged in limited physical activity and spent more time in front of the TV.

2 Responses

  1. dasia

    this is the most sad thing that’s going bad for these children. I’m only a girl and this made me sad for these young boys and girls


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