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 years1:
- The prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents.
- Obesity prevalence was 13.9% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 18.4% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 20.6% among 12- to 19-year-olds. Childhood obesity is also more common among certain populations.
- Hispanics (25.8%) and non-Hispanic blacks (22.0%) had higher obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic whites (14.1%).
- Non-Hispanic Asians (11.0%) had lower obesity prevalence than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
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.
- The prevalence of obesity decreased with increasing level of education of the household head among children and adolescents aged 2-19 years.
- 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 and Hispanic boys.
- Obesity prevalence was lower in the highest income group among non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic Asian, 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).