State Policies to Prevent Obesity
Strong state policies play a key role in improving access to healthy food and increasing physical activity, which are essential for helping children grow up at a healthy weight. This feature tracks the status of each state’s efforts on more than 20 policies aimed at preventing obesity and supporting health.
SNAP Benefits Could Decrease
November 2018—Up to 1.1 million households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 2017 would experience a $50 to $75 cut in their monthly benefit under certain provisions of the House Farm Bill, according to a microsimulation. While the provisions would reduce benefits substantially for 3% to 5% of SNAP households, they would also increase benefits by a modest amount, an average of $10, for about 20% of SNAP households—approximately 4 million households.
SNAP Eligibility Changes
Earlier research found that about one in 11 households receiving SNAP benefits would lose eligibility under certain provisions of the House Farm Bill.
Stories of SNAP
SNAP provides critical support to families and individuals across the country. See firsthand accounts from program participants in states across the country.
SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping feed more than 40 million Americans each month.
Nearly One in Six Young People Has Obesity
October 2018—Nationwide, 15.8 percent of young people ages 10 to 17 have obesity, according to the newest national data. Mississippi has the highest youth obesity rate, at 26.1 percent, while Utah has the lowest, at 8.7 percent.
Deeper Dive on New Youth Data
The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (HRSA MCHB) funds and directs the annual National Survey of Children’s Health, which includes the new national and state-by-state obesity rate data for youth ages 10 to 17. We asked a few questions to Dr. Lydie Lebrun-Harris, a senior social scientist in the Office of Epidemiology and Research at HRSA MCHB about what the new data tell us.
The State of Childhood Obesity
The federal government monitors obesity rates among children and teens with major surveys that track national trends and state rates. According to NHANES (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), 18.5% of youth ages 2 to 19 had obesity in 2015-16, the highest rate ever documented by the survey.
In 2017, 26.1% of high school students met physical activity guidelines, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.
In 2015-16, 18.5% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 had obesity, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
According to the same survey, in 1999-2000, 13.9% of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 had obesity.
Adult Obesity Rates Rise in Six States, Top 35% in Seven
September 2018 – Adult obesity rates increased in Iowa, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina between 2016 and 2017, and remained stable in the rest of states. The adult obesity rate was at or above 35% in seven states and at least 30% in 29 states. West Virginia has the highest adult obesity rate at 38.1% and Colorado has the lowest at 22.6%.
West Virginia has the highest rate of adult diabetes, 15.2%. Diabetes rates rose in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey and South Dakota between 2016 and 2017.
Eight of the 10 states with the highest rates of hypertension are in the South. West Virginia has the highest rate at 43.5%.
Kentucky has the highest rate of physical inactivity among adults, 34.4%. Nine of the 10 states with the highest rates are in the South.