Back 

Childhood Obesity Trends State Rates

Childhood Overweight and Obesity Trends

Obesity maps and tables on this page show state-by-state childhood obesity rates for 10-17 year olds for 2003-2011 based on data from the National Survey of Children’s Health.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overall obesity rates remain high and prevalence among 2-19 year olds and adults in the United States has not changed significantly between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. For very young children, however, data from CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) published in the February 25, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association do show a decline in obesity prevalence in the 2 to 5 year old age group from nearly 14 percent in 2003-2004, to just over 12 percent in 2009-2010, to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012.  NCSL annually reports on policy options to address childhood obesity.

 

United States map of Percentage of Overweight and Obese Children: 2011 by State

 

State

Overweight (85th to 94th percentile) %

Obese (95th percentile or above) %

Alabama

16.4

18.6

Alaska

15.9

14.0

Arizona

16.9

19.8

Arkansas

14.0

20.0

California

15.3

15.1

Colorado

12.2

10.9

Connecticut

14.7

15.0

Delaware

15.1

16.9

District of Columbia

13.6

21.4

Florida

14.1

13.4

Georgia

18.5

16.5

Hawaii

15.9

11.5

Idaho

17.1

10.6

Illinois

14.3

19.3

Indiana

17.1

14.3

Iowa

14.6

13.6

Kansas

16.0

14.2

Kentucky

16.0

19.7

Louisiana

18.7

21.1

Maine

17.0

12.5

Maryland

16.5

15.1

Massachusetts

16.1

14.5

Michigan

17.8

14.8

Minnesota

13.2

14.0

Mississippi

18.0

21.7

Missouri

14.9

13.5

Montana

14.8

14.3

Nebraska

15.1

13.8

Nevada

14.5

18.6

New Hampshire

10.5

15.5

New Jersey

14.7

10.0

New Mexico

18.5

14.4

New York

17.9

14.5

North Carolina

15.3

16.1

North Dakota

20.4

15.4

Ohio

13.4

17.4

Oklahoma

16.5

17.4

Oregon

16.5

9.9

Pennsylvania

12.9

13.5

Rhode Island

15.1

13.2

South Carolina

17.7

21.5

South Dakota

13.1

13.4

Tennessee

13.6

20.5

Texas

17.5

19.1

Utah

10.5

11.6

Vermont

13.3

11.3

Virginia

15.5

14.3

Washington

15.2

11.0

West Virginia

15.0

18.5

Wisconsin

15.4

13.4

Wyoming

15.9

10.7

Source: Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, a project of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI). State Obesity Profiles, 2011. National Survey of Children's Health. Children age 10-17 are included in this data. 

 

2007 Rates of Obese and Overweight Children

United States map of Percentage of Overweight and Obese Children: 2007 by State

* Obesity is defined as body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BMI-for-age growth charts. Children with BMI between the 85th and 95th percentile are classified as overweight. BMI is calculated as weight in  kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. Children age 10-17 are included in this data. 

State

Overweight (85th to 94th percentile) %

Obese (95th percentile or above) %

Alabama

18.2

17.9

Alaska

19.8

14.1

Arizona

12.7

17.8

Arkansas

17.1

20.4

California

15.5

15.0

Colorado

13.0

14.2

Connecticut

13.2

12.5

Delaware

19.8

13.3

District of Columbia

15.2

20.1

Florida

14.9

18.3

Georgia

16.0

21.3

Hawaii

17.3

11.2

Idaho

15.7

11.8

Illinois

14.2

20.7

Indiana

15.3

14.6

Iowa

15.3

11.2

Kansas

14.9

16.2

Kentucky

16.2

21.0

Louisiana

15.2

20.7

Maine

15.3

12.9

Maryland

15.2

13.6

Massachusetts

16.8

13.3

Michigan

18.2

12.4

Minnesota

12.0

11.1

Mississippi

22.6

21.9

Missouri

17.3

13.6

Montana

13.8

11.8

Nebraska

15.6

15.8

Nevada

19.0

15.2

New Hampshire

16.7

12.8

New Jersey

15.6

15.4

New Mexico

16.7

16.0

New York

15.8

17.1

North Carolina

14.9

18.6

North Dakota

14.3

11.4

Ohio

14.8

18.5

Oklahoma

13.1

16.4

Oregon

14.7

9.6

Pennsylvania

14.6

15.0

Rhode Island

15.8

14.4

South Carolina

18.5

15.3

South Dakota

15.2

13.2

Tennessee

15.9

20.6

Texas

11.9

20.4

Utah

11.7

11.4

Vermont

13.9

12.9

Virginia

15.7

15.2

Washington

18.4

11.1

West Virginia

16.7

18.9

Wisconsin

14.8

13.1

Wyoming

15.5

10.2

 

Source: National Survey of Children's Health. NCSH 2007. Data query from the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health website.
Retrieved 02/21/2014 from www.childhealthdata.org.


2003 Rates of Obese and Overweight Children

 

United States map of Percentage of Overweight and Obese Children: 2003 by State

* Obesity is defined as body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the 2000 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention BMI-for-age growth chars.  BMI is calculated as weight in  kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. Children age 10-17 are included in this data.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The National Survey of Children's Health 2003. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005. Retrieved 12/01/2009 from http://mchb.hrsa.gov/overweight/state.htm

State

Overweight %

Obese %

Alabama

17.8

16.7

Alaska

19.6

11.1

Arizona

17.5

12.2

Arkansas

16.4

16.4

California

16.8

13.2

Colorado

12.0

9.9

Connecticut

15.0

12.3

Delaware

20.7

14.8

District of Columbia

16.8

22.8

Florida

18.0

14.4

Georgia

15.3

16.4

Hawaii

13.5

13.3

Idaho

15.5

10.1

Illinois

15.4

15.8

Indiana

17.3

15.6

Iowa

13.0

12.5

Kansas

16.1

14.0

Kentucky

17.6

20.6

Louisiana

18.4

17.2

Maine

17.3

12.7

Maryland

16.6

13.3

Massachusetts

15.3

13.6

Michigan

14.3

14.4

Minnesota

13.8

10.1

Mississippi

18.8

17.8

Missouri

15.4

15.6

Montana

16.2

11.1

Nebraska

14.4

11.9

Nevada

14.2

12.4

New Hampshire

14.4

12.9

New Jersey

17.8

13.7

New Mexico

12.1

16.8

New York

15.6

15.3

North Carolina

14.6

19.3

North Dakota

14.8

12.1

Ohio

16.3

14.2

Oklahoma

12.8

15.4

Oregon

12.3

14.1

Pennsylvania

16.0

13.3

Rhode Island

15.1

11.9

South Carolina

17.2

18.9

South Dakota

13.8

12.0

Tennessee

15.3

20.0

Texas

13.3

19.1

Utah

12.3

8.5

Vermont

14.3

11.3

Virginia

16.7

13.8

Washington

14.3

10.8

West Virginia

15.6

20.9

Wisconsin

15.9

13.5

Wyoming

14.2

8.6

Source: National Survey of Children's Health. NCSH 2003. Data query from the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health website.
Retrieved 02/21/2014 from www.childhealthdata.org.                                                                                                               

Childhood Obesity Facts

  • Approximately 13 million U.S. children and adolescents are obese, with a body mass index at or above the 95th percentile.
  • Obesity is a major risk factor for many serious health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers.
  • During the past 40 years, obesity rates for children age 6 to 11 nearly tripled—from 5% to 14%—and more than tripled for adolescents age 12 to 19—from 5% to 17.1%.
  • Obese adolescents have an 80% chance of becoming obese adults.
  • An estimated 61% of obese young people already have at least one additional health risk factor such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  • Childhood obesity health expenses are estimated at $14 billion annually.
  • Good nutrition and physical activity can help prevent obesity, but opportunities for healthy choices may be limited. Wealthy communities have three times as many supermarkets as poor areas, increasing their access to fruits, vegetables, and a wider selection of healthy foods.  Poorer areas also often have less access to places to be physically active.
  • Almost 30% of U.S. children do not exercise three or more times a week.
  • More than 75% of high school students do not eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

Sources: Ogden, et al. JAMA. 2014;311(8):806-814. JAMA, 295 (13): 1549-1555 and JAMA, 288 (14): 1728-1732.
CDC, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 54, no.8: 203. Pediatrics 103, no.6: 1175-1172.
CDC, Preventing Obesity and Chronic Diseases through Good Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics America's Children;
Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2007.

Additional Resources

Share this: 
New Members Welcome
Fall Forum 2014
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2014 by National Conference of State Legislatures