This State has the Biggest Childhood Obesity Problem in the U.S.

The childhood obesity rate for the country over-all has held steady for the past two years.

childhood obesity
Mississippi has the highest rate of childhood obesity in the country, according to a new study.
Getty Images/EyeEm

A state-by-state examination of childhood obesity rates across the U.S. found that the epidemic is most prevalent in Mississippi.

The new research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation revealed that nearly 16% of U.S. children aged 10 to 17 are considered obese — meaning they carry too much body fat. But an alarming 26% of Mississippi children in this age range quality for the unhealthy distinction.

The disease puts them at risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and even some cancers, CNN reported.

“Roughly one in three young people nationally is overweight or obese and I think the new data we’re releasing are a real stark reminder of that fact,” a senior program officer at the Foundation, Jamie Bussel, told the news site.

The data, compiled from 2016 and 2017, “should really urge all of us to think about the kinds of changes that we need to be making that will help all kids grow up at a healthy weight,” she continued.

Many other Southern states were also found to have above average rates of childhood obesity, like Alabama (18.2%), Florida (16.9%), Georgia (18.4%) and Louisiana (19.1%).

The state with the lowest rate was Utah with 8.7% of its children considered obese.

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