The obesity epidemic in the United States is at an all time high, with nearly 40% of adults reporting body mass index scores of 30 or higher. Children are also affected by obesity. Approximately 30% of 10 to 17 year-old kids are classified as overweight, which includes 16% who are considered obese.
Childhood obesity has major effects on children’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Obese children are very likely to become obese adults and more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other conditions at a younger age.
In some parts of the United States, the childhood obesity rate is much higher than in others. To identify the states where children are struggling with obesity, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed obesity rates for 10 to 17 year old state residents from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health.
As it has among adults, the obesity rate among children in the United States has risen dramatically over the past several decades.
Genetic background, environmental factors, lifestyle preferences, and other variables have contributed to the rising prevalence of obesity and its concentration in certain parts of the United States. Excessive sugary drink intake, increased meal portion size, and reduced physical activity have been shown to lead to higher obesity rates in communities.
State level data show that among other notable factors, high childhood obesity is associated with household income, the ability of families to afford nutritious foods, as well as television consumption.
For reference, the typical household in America earns an annual income of $57,617. And 66.1% of parents nationwide say they can always afford healthy meals for their children.
According to the NSCH, 8.5% of U.S. residents under 18 years-old watch more than four hours of TV on an average weekday.