Data released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Thursday shows the obesity rate among people aged 10 to 17 has held steady in recent years.
The obesity rate for this age group is 12.5%, or 73,800 people, which is neither an increase nor a decrease, according to the data. Missouri ranks fifteenth lowest in the nation for obesity rates in this age group.
The data also show that black and Hispanic youth are disproportionally affected by obesity in comparison to white and Asian youth. Black youth have an obesity rate of 22.2% and Hispanic youth a rate of 19.0%. This is compared to the rate of 11.8% among white youth and 7.3% among Asian youth.
Mississippi has the highest rate of youth obesity at 25.4%.
“It’s definitely positive. You have to stop (obesity) first in order to reverse it,” said Laina Fullum, director of nutrition services for Columbia Public Schools. “Since we’ve been on an uptick, for it to just halt is amazing.”
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