DuPage obesity rates for children lower than national rates

Fri September 12, 2014

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and FORWARD, a countywide, public-private partnership working to reverse the obesity trend in DuPage County, has released its most recent report on the rates of overweight and obese children. The full report is available at www.dupagehealth.org/bmi.

The 2013-2014 public school rates remained stable at 29.7 percent overweight or obese and 14.4 percent obese; this followed a 1 percent decrease in 2012-2013. When compared to the latest national data available for 2-19 year olds (from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES]), where 31.8 percent of children in the United States were overweight or obese and 16.9 percent were obese, DuPage rates were lower.  This is due in part to the collective efforts of over 1000 FORWARD coalition members, including parents, healthcare providers, educators, civic leaders and community stakeholders, working to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

For the 2013-2014 school year, data were analyzed for 31,060 public and private school kindergarten, sixth and ninth grade students. Records were received for 96.2 percent of public school classes and 19.3 percent of private school classes across DuPage.

Since 2010, FORWARD has collected 101,064 de-identified public and private school student records and has had over 90 percent public school participation for the past three consecutive academic years. FORWARD is beginning data collection for the 2014-2015 school year.

FORWARD's goal is to implement changes by identifying resources, harnessing expertise, promoting education, and advancing opportunities for lasting  policy, system, and environmental change to reverse the obesity trend. For more tools and resources, follow FORWARD on Twitter (www.twitter.com/FORWARD_DuPage), Facebook (www.facebook.com/forwarddupage), or visit www.forwarddupage.org.