FORWARD calls for community action with release of latest DuPage obesity data

Wed December 2, 2015

FORWARD, a countywide, public-private partnership promoting increased healthy eating and physical activity in DuPage County, has released its most recent publication on the rates of obesity in DuPage County, titled "Addressing Obesity in DuPage County:  What You Can Do." 

Key points from the publication:

  • DuPage obesity rates among kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade public school students have declined slightly since 2011-2012.
  • Still, one in seven (15.1 percent) kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade public school students in DuPage County is obese; 44 percent of obese children had elevated blood pressure.
  • The DuPage County obesity rate for 2-4 year olds enrolled in the United States Department of Agriculture's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) (20.3 percent) and the DuPage kindergartener obesity rate (14.3 percent) both exceed the national rate for 2-5 year olds (8.4 percent), stressing the need for early intervention.
  • One in four (26.4 percent) adults in DuPage County is identified as obese. An additional 33.5 percent (one in three) are identified as overweight.


Obese children and adults may experience increased risk for health problems, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and bone and joint problems. In addition, obesity in children and adults may be associated with depression, poor self-esteem, lower test scores, increased absenteeism, decreased productivity, and increased injury.  Children who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are five times more likely to be overweight or obese as adults.  Obese adults may also experience greater risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder disease. 

Everyone can and must take action to impact their health and help reduce these rates by increasing opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating.  Visit www.forwarddupage.org for recommendations for child care settings, healthcare facilities, municipalities, parents, schools, and worksites. Contact FORWARD for assistance getting started.

Since 2010, FORWARD has collected 126,105 de-identified public and private school student records with over 80 percent public school class participation for the past four consecutive academic years. FORWARD is beginning data collection for the 2015-2016 school year. The latest report is available at www.forwarddupage.org.

FORWARD's goal is to implement change 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, visit www.forwarddupage.org or follow FORWARD on Twitter (www.twitter.com/FORWARD_DuPage) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/forwarddupage).

Please click here to print a copy of this press release.