The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has created a visual representation tool for the State of Obesity of Children in the United States. The website has pulled data from the 2016-2017 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) to demonstrate how obesity impacts various states and communities differently.
The obesity rate for youth ages 10 to 17 ranged from 8.7% in Utah to 26.1% in Mississippi. Nationally, 15.8% of youth in this age range have obesity.
Nine of the 10 states with the highest rates are in the South. Nine of the 10 states with the lowest rates are either in the West or Northeast.
Prior to 2016, the NSCH was significantly redesigned. 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 2017 NSCH 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.
To learn more about the 2016-17 youth obesity data, read their research brief.