Obesity Rates Among WIC Participants Ages 2-4

Updated June 2021: The rate of obesity has declined among children ages 2 to 4 enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). From 2010 to 2018, the national rate of obesity dropped from 15.9% to 14.4%. The decline was statistically significant among all racial and ethnic groups studied: American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, black, Hispanic, and white.

The map below highlights the most recent state-level data. From 2010 to 2018, the obesity rate among WIC participants ages 2-4 decreased in 31 states and territories and increased in seven. In 2018, obesity rates ranged from a low of 8.5% in Utah to a high of 20.2% in Alaska.

Obesity Rate: WIC Participants Ages 2-4,

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Percent of WIC participants ages 2-4 with obesity

The WIC Participant and Program Characteristics (WICPPC) survey gathers data from all states on all participants. A strength of these data is that they are a census of all WIC participants and not just a sample of them. The data include height and weight measurements for children, which are collected by medical staff during certification visits, and then are used to calculate BMI and obesity rates among children ages 2 to 4. The data are gathered in April of even-numbered years, and analyzed by the CDC.

Data for 2000, 2004 are available from: Pan L, Freedman DS, Sharma AJ, et al. Trends in Obesity Among Participants Aged 2-4 Years in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children - United States, 2000–2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) 2016;65:1256–1260. DOI.

Data for 2008 and beyond are available from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Data, Trend and Maps [online]. [accessed Jul 20, 2021]. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/data-trends-maps/index.html.