Adult & Childhood Obesity Remain a Major Issue for States

Adult and childhood obesity remain a major issue for states and the nation. States have implemented various policies and programs to reduce the number of adults and children who are either overweight or obese. The economic benefit of having a healthier population is a significant reason why states continue to push for healthy programs.

Adult obesity rates are climbing fast. Only one-third of American adults have normal weight, and an equal proportion is obese.

Childhood obesity continues to be a problem for the nation's children, although overall levels of prevalence have leveled off.  However, Hispanic boys and African-American girls are disproportionately affected.

Obesity is linked to chronic disease and is an economic drain on the nation. States are trying a variety of programs to reduce the growth of both adult and childhood obesity, through policies targeting transportation, work place wellness programs, and school nutrition and physical education.

To read more about adult obesity, with a table comparing national and state percentages of overweight and obese adults, click here.

 For a corresponding fact sheet on childhood obesity, with a table describing racial and ethnic health disparities among children, click here.