Obesity Rates Increase for Some Missouri Children

Kids And Chalk

According to a recent report, 16.3 percent of Missouri children ages 10-17 are obese. That compares to the national average of 15.1 percent. The report, "State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children's Health During a Pandemic," analyzes childhood obesity and makes recommendations to prevent it. Two years ago, Missouri's childhood obesity rate was 12.7 percent.

The report states that Black and Hispanic youth have disproportionately higher obesity rates compared to white children, putting them at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other serious conditions. The report also noted disparities by income level; 21.5 percent of youth in households making less than the federal poverty level were obese.

Some policy suggestions on combating obesity during the pandemic include supporting additional food stamp benefits and allowing school meal programs the flexibility to serve meals outside the school setting. Increasing food stamp benefits would allow access to healthier food options for children.

October 30, 2020 - 11:53am
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