Combined overweight and obesity rates for youth ages 10 to 17 ranged from 19.2% in Utah to 37.7% in Tennessee, according to the most recent state-by-state data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). Nationally, 31.2% of youth in this age range are overweight or have obesity.
Seven of the 10 states with the highest rates are in the South. The 10 states with the lowest rates are either in the West or Northeast.
Due to changes in the survey’s mode of data collection and sampling frame, it is not possible to compare estimates from 2016 to earlier iterations of the survey. But the data do indicate a consistent stabilization in national and state rates of childhood overweight and obesity over the last decade. The NSCH is planned as an annual survey going forward, so these and other trends can be evaluated. The NSCH uses parent reports of a child’s or adolescent’s height and weight to calculate body mass index.