The leanest kids live in …

All states are not equal, when it comes to obesity.  It’s well-known that the problem is much worse in southern states, and not quite as bad in the Rocky Mountain states and on the West Coast.  A new study is the first to allow comparisons of childhood obesity trends among the 50 states.  Here’s the condensed story from the Associated Press, although I added the third paragraph and the Washington state numbers:

————-

CHICAGO – A new government study finds that most states are failing to meet federal goals for childhood obesity.

The federal Healthy People initiative set a childhood obesity goal of 5%. Oregon has the nation’s lowest rate of hefty kids, at just under 10%. Oregon was the only state whose childhood obesity fell significantly from 2003 to 2007.  Washington’s obesity rate went up slightly, to about 11% – tied for third lowest among the states.  Mississippi topped the nation with more than one-in-five of its kids obese.

By another measure – how many kids are simply overweight — Washington’s near the national average, with about 30% of kids overweight.  (Oregon places 3rd in this category, with Minnesota and Utah having the lowest percentage of overweight youth, at 23%.)

What works? That’s still debated.  Diet and nutrition have a role. But poverty, race and family history all have complex links to obesity.

The study appears in May’s Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

More links:

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About Admin

I was the Science & Health Reporter for 12 years, and the Environment Reporter for 5 years, at NPR member station KPLU, in Seattle, WA (now re-born as knkx). Today, I've left journalism but keep this blog as a place for writing about some of the topics that I tracked over the years.

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