Childhood Overweight & Obesity

Childhood obesity is a serious health problem in the United States. 1 in 5 children and adolescents in the US have obesity. Some groups of children are more affected than others, but all children are at risk of gaining weight that is higher than what is considered healthy.

Obesity is complex. Many factors can contribute to excess weight gain including behavior, genetics and taking certain medications. But societal and community factors also matter: child care and school environments, neighborhood design, access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages, and access to safe and convenient places for physical activity affect our ability to make healthy choices.

Every child deserves a healthy start in life. Learn what parents and caregivers can to do help prevent obesity at home, how healthcare systems can help families prevent and manage childhood obesity, and what strategies communities can use to support a healthy, active lifestyle for all.

Childhood Obesity Facts
How many children in the United States have obesity?

Defining Childhood Overweight & Obesity
How is childhood obesity measured?

Causes and Consequences
What contributes to childhood obesity? What are the health risks?

Clinical Guidelines
Resources for clinicians and healthcare providers on childhood obesity. Also see CDC’s Clinical Growth Charts.

Child and Teen BMI Calculator
Use this calculator for children aged 2 through 19 years old.

Child & Teen Healthy Weight and Obesity Resources