Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health.
For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years:
- The prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents.
- Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
- Hispanics (25.8%) and non-Hispanic blacks (22.0%) had higher obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic whites (14.1%).
- Non-Hispanic Asians (11.0%) had lower obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
Obesity and Socioeconomic Status
- Obesity prevalence was the highest among children in families with an income-to-poverty ratio of 100% or less (household income that is at or below the poverty threshold), followed by those in families with an income-to-poverty ratio of 101%–130%, and then found to be lower in children in families with an income-to-poverty ratio of 131% or larger (greater household income).
- The prevalence of obesity decreased with increasing level of education of the household head among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years.
- Obesity prevalence was 18.9% among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years in the lowest income group, 19.9% among those in the middle income group, and 10.9% among those in the highest income group.
- Obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group among non-Hispanic Asian and Hispanic boys.
- Obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, and Hispanic girls. Obesity prevalence did not differ by income among non-Hispanic black girls.
Tips on keeping kids healthy
- Give kids a nutritious breakfast every day.
- Let kids help with the cooking. They are more than likely to taste what they helped prepare.
- Introduce new veggies more than once. Sometimes, it takes a few tries.
- Plan at least one family meal a day to reinforce the message of good eating habits and build stronger relationships.
- Give kids healthy food options and let them pick.