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 2017-20201:
- The prevalence of obesity was 19.7% and affected about 14.7 million children and adolescents.
- Obesity prevalence was 12.7% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 20.7% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 22.2% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
- Obesity prevalence was 26.2% among Hispanic children, 24.8% among non-Hispanic Black children, 16.6% among non-Hispanic White children, and 9.0% among non-Hispanic Asian children.
- Obesity-related conditions include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, breathing problems such as asthma and sleep apnea, and joint problems.
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.
- 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).