New Data: State Policies to Prevent Obesity

Strong state policies play a critical role in preventing obesity and promoting health. They impact our access to healthy affordable foods and our opportunities to be physically active.

Updated in January 2019, this interactive feature includes the latest data about individual state requirements in early childhood education settings, schools and communities.

You’ll find information about a number of policies and regulations aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity, including how many states have adopted requirements and how many policies each individual state has implemented. For example:

  • Across the country, 34 states and Washington, D.C. require licensed early childhood education programs to provide meals and snacks that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide baseline nutritional standards for many settings.
  • Shared use agreements can help increase opportunities for physical activity in communities. Forty-six states and Washington, D.C. have adopted a shared use policy that either requires or recommends cooperation between schools and communities to allow local residents access to schools’ recreational facilities outside of school hours.
  • Complete streets policies incorporate safe and convenient walking and biking into transportation planning. They also improve conditions and opportunities for walking and biking. Nationwide, 29 states and Washington, D.C. have adopted complete streets policies with mandatory requirements.
Health rankings of California, and Colorado.
Update january 2019

Profiles For 50 States And D.C.

Find your state’s full profile, including its obesity rates and rankings, obesity prevention policies, and more.

Find Your State

Updated: January 2019

Young boy holding plant in a garden

Stories and Expert Perspectives

Hear from experts about the impact of policies and programs in their communities, read interviews with researchers about data releases, and learn how some communities are taking action to help more children grow up healthy, including from places that have measured a decline in childhood obesity rates. 

See More Stories