FILE - obesity, scale, Overweight Kids Diabetes

This Tuesday, April 3, 2018 photo shows a closeup of a beam scale in New York.

(The Center Square) – The obesity rate among youth aged 10 to 17 in Illinois stood at 14.9 percent last year, the 24th highest percentage among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to new data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Nationwide, 15.5 percent of children in this age group are obese, according to the latest data compiled on the State of Childhood Obesity website, one of the foundation’s projects. The numbers come from the National Survey of Children’s Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

The analysis found racial and ethnic disparities in the data. Only 5.9 percent of non-Hispanic Asian children were obese, while non-Hispanic white children have an obesity rate of 11.7 percent, the website reported. But the rates were higher for Hispanic children (20.7 percent) and non-Hispanic Black children (22.9 percent). 

Child obesity rates were also higher for households making under the federal poverty threshold (21.5 percent). That’s more than twice the rate of child obesity for households making at least four times the poverty level (8.8 percent).

Among American children aged 2 to 4 who take part in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the obesity rate dropped from 15.9 percent in 2010 to 13.9 percent in 2016, the foundation reported.

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Youth Obesity Rates by State

RankStateObese 10- to 17-year-olds in 2019
1Kentucky23.8%
2Mississippi22.3%
3South Carolina22.1%
4Tennessee20.4%
5Arkansas20.2%
6Louisiana20.1%
7West Virginia19.6%
8Oklahoma18.8%
9Florida17.8%
10Maryland17.6%
11Rhode Island17.5%
12Alabama17.3%
12Michigan17.3%
12Texas17.3%
15California17.1%
16Indiana16.7%
17Missouri16.3%
18North Carolina16.1%
19Delaware16.0%
20Ohio15.7%
21Alaska15.4%
22Iowa15.3%
23New Mexico15.2%
24Georgia14.9%
24Illinois14.9%
26Pennsylvania14.5%
27Wisconsin14.2%
28New Jersey14.0%
28Vermont14.0%
30New Hampshire13.7%
30Wyoming13.7%
32Connecticut13.3%
33Maine13.2%
34North Dakota13.1%
35Virginia13.0%
36Nevada12.9%
36Oregon12.9%
38District of Columbia12.5%
39Arizona12.1%
39Idaho12.1%
41Washington11.9%
42Massachusetts11.8%
43South Dakota11.7%
44Nebraska11.5%
45Hawaii11.1%
46Colorado10.9%
47New York10.7%
48Kansas10.6%
48Montana10.6%
50Minnesota9.9%
51Utah9.6%

Source: State of Childhood Obesity