Student Well-Being

One-Third of U.S. Children Found to Be Overweight or Obese

By Bryan Toporek — April 23, 2013 1 min read

About one-third of U.S. children ages 10 to 17 were found to be either overweight (15.6 percent) or obese (15.7 percent), according to the latest National Survey of Children’s Health from the Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health.

The findings, released earlier this month, reflect a slight improvement over the last data set from 2007, but are still worse than what was reported in the original 2003 survey.

In 2003, 14.8 percent of children ages 10 to 17 were considered obese, and an additional 15.7 percent were considered overweight (30.5 percent total), according to that year’s survey. The percentage of obese children rocketed up in 2007 to 16.4 percent, although the percentage of overweight children slightly dropped to 15.3 percent.

In the most recent survey, which drew upon more than 95,000 telephone surveys completed nationally during 2010-12, the percentage of obese children across the U.S. shrank to 15.7 percent, while the percentage of overweight children actually rose slightly (15.6 percent). In total, the percentage of overweight or obese children fell from 31.7 percent in 2007 to 31.3 percent in 2011-12.

Here, you’ll see the overweight and obesity rates over the past decade in visual form (the red line is for obese children, the green is for overweight):

It’s not the first time a study has found roughly one-third of American adolescents to be either overweight or obese. In fact, a 2011 report from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation suggested that

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.