Childhood Obesity Facts
Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States, putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health. Obesity prevalence among children and adolescents is still too high.
For children and adolescents aged 2-19 years in 2017-20181:
- The prevalence of obesity was 19.3% and affected about 14.4 million children and adolescents.
- Obesity prevalence was 13.4% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 20.3% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 21.2% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
- Obesity prevalence was 25.6% among Hispanic children, 24.2% among non-Hispanic Black children, 16.1% among non-Hispanic White children, and 8.7% among non-Hispanic Asian children.
Note: Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the CDC sex-specific BMI-for-age growth charts.
- In 2011-2014, among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years, the prevalence of obesity decreased as the head of household’s level of education increased.
- Obesity prevalence was 18.9% among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years in the lowest income group, 19.9% among those in the middle-income group, and 10.9% among those in the highest income group.
- Obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group among non-Hispanic Asian boys and Hispanic boys.
- Obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group among non-Hispanic White girls, non-Hispanic Asian girls, and Hispanic girls. Obesity prevalence did not differ by income among non-Hispanic Black girls.
Data, Maps, and Trends
Use these maps and interactive database systems to find information relating to nutrition, physical activity, and obesity.
Obesity Among WIC-Enrolled Young Children
CDC works with the USDA to analyze child obesity data from the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Report (WIC PC).