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Obesity Rates: Youth Ages 10 to 17

Updated October 2019: The national obesity rate for youth ages 10 to 17 in 2017-18 was 15.3%, compared with 16.1% in 2016. The difference is not statistically significant. Black and Hispanic youth had obesity rates (22.2% and 19.0%, respectively), that were significantly higher than White youth, 11.8%, or Asian youth, 7.3%.

The obesity rate ranged from 8.7% in Utah to 25.4% in Mississippi, according to the most recent state-by-state data from the 2017-18 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH).

Three states had obesity rates that were statistically significantly higher than the national rate: Mississippi (25.4%), West Virginia (20.9%), and Kentucky (20.8%). Six states had obesity rates statistically significantly lower than the national rate: Utah (8.7%), Minnesota (9.4%), Alaska (9.9%), Colorado (10.7%), Montana (10.8%), and Washington (11.0%). No states saw statistically significant changes in their overall obesity rates between 2016 and 2017-18, however additional years of data are needed before trends over time can be reliably assessed.

In recent years, the NSCH was significantly redesigned, and the 2016 survey was the first to reflect those changes. Due to changes in the survey’s mode of data collection and sampling frame it is not possible to directly compare results from the 2016 or later years to earlier iterations. Starting in 2016, the NSCH is being conducted as an annual survey and will continue to collect new data each year going forward, so trends over time can be evaluated, with 2016 data serving as a new baseline.

Note: In the interactive below, the year 2017 represents combined 2016-17 data, and the year 2018 represents combined 2017-18 data.

Obesity Rate, Youth Ages 10-17,

Obesity rates, children ages 10 to 17

Note: On the line graph, the label 2016 refers to 2016 data, 2017 refers to combined 2016-17 data, and 2018 refers to combined 2017-18 data.

Source: The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) collects information on the health of children in the United States who are 0-17 years old. Parents or caregivers are asked to report their child’s height and weight, which can be used to calculate body-mass index (BMI) for children 10-17 years. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA MCHB) funds and directs the NSCH and develops survey content in collaboration with a national technical expert panel and the U.S. Census Bureau, which then conducts the survey on behalf of HRSA MCHB. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation worked with HRSA MCHB to disseminate the latest obesity data.