What is the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents in the US?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
  • Print
Answer

Using body mass index (BMI) criteria, the most recent national surveys demonstrate that 21-24% of American children and adolescents are overweight and that another 16-18% are obese. A 2012 study noted a 16.9% prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents in 2009-2010, which is comparable to the prevalence rates reported in 2007-2008. [13] These findings indicate that the prevalence of overweight (BMI ≥ 85th percentile) children and adolescents in the US has increased by 50-60% in a single generation, and the prevalence of obesity has doubled. The prevalence of obesity in American Indians, Hawaiians, Hispanics, and blacks is 10-40% higher than in whites.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!