Childhood obesity in America

Local News

The new research brief involved analyzing national health data on children in all 50 states and the District of Columbia who are up to 17 years old. The data came from the 2016 and 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health, which sampled 364,150 and 170,726 households nationwide respectively.

In the surveys, parents or caregivers provided their children’s height and weight, which was used to calculate body-mass index, which then could determine childhood overweight and obesity for the brief.

The combined 2016 and 2017 data revealed that Mississippi’s rate of 26.1% was the highest state rate above the national rate of 15.8%.

Mississippi was the only state that had a rate statistically significantly higher than the national average, the researchers noted in the brief. Other states with rates that were higher, but not statistically significantly, were:

  • Alabama at 18.2%
  • DC at 16.1%
  • Delaware at 16.7%
  • Florida at 16.9%
  • Georgia at 18.4%
  • Iowa at 17.7%
  • Illinois at 16.2%
  • Indiana at 17.5%
  • Kentucky at 19.3%
  • Louisiana at 19.1%
  • Michigan at 17.3%
  • Ohio at 18.6%
  • Oklahoma at 18.7%
  • Pennsylvania at 16.8%
  • Rhode Island at 16.8%
  • Texas at 18.5%
  • West Virginia at 20.3%

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