CHILDHOOD OBESITY IN DUPAGE COUNTY

The DuPage County Health Department has released the latest obesity data for DuPage County in a publication titled Childhood Obesity in DuPage County (December 2017). For more information on our methods, statistics, and references, click here (coming soon!).  For more health indicators in DuPage County, visit www.impactdupage.org.

Suggested Citation: Childhood Obesity in DuPage County. Wheaton (IL): DuPage County Health Department. December 2017. www.dupagehealth.org/upload/DuPageObesity2017.pdf

What The Data Say

  • After a decline in recent years, the obesity rate holds steady among school-aged youth. In 2016-2017, more than one in seven (14.8%) kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade public school students in DuPage County had obesity.

  • Additionally, in 2016-2017, 44% of students with obesity had an elevated blood pressure (BP) reading. 

  • The obesity rate among DuPage County children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in WIC (15.1% in 2016) continues to exceed the national WIC rate (14.5% in 2014), stressing the need for early intervention. WIC is the USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). 

What You Can Do

Share this report in your community! Really, pass it on: www.dupagehealth.org/upload/DuPageObesity2017.pdf. Don't forget about your elected officials, school administration and PTA, healthcare providers, teachers, community groups, employers, and faith-based leaders. 

What Early Childhood Centers Can Do

Complete the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) and implement an action plan. Training available through INCCRA via We Choose Health.

Follow the recommendations from Let's Move! Child Care. Training available through Penn State Extension as Childhood Obesity Prevention LMCC.

Adopt the 5-4-3-2-1Go!®* message

What Schools Can Do 

Assess the district's wellness policy using the WellSAT 2.0 Policy Assessment tool and incorporate improvements based on the recommendations. 

Conduct the School Health Index (SHI) assessment in your school and develop an Action Plan based on the results.

Host events and expand relationships with parents, volunteers, and other community partners.

Pursue HealthierUS School Challenge or Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program recognition.

Adopt the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!®* message.

What Parents Can Do

Engage in your child's School Wellness Committee.

Plan meals for the week.

Eat meals together as a family.

Serve lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods.

Serve reasonably-sized portions.

Drink lots of water and cut down on drinks with sugar.

Be physically active daily as a family.

Cut down on screen time.  

What Employers Can Do

Complete the CDC's Worksite Health ScoreCard or American Heart Association's Health Achievement Index. Then, choose strategies to help improve your score.

What Anyone Can Do 

Use the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 to make simple changes in the following areas: manage blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get active, eat better, lose weight, and stop smoking. 

Take 1-2 minutes to find out if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, using this test

Importance of Reducing Childhood Obesity Rates


Reducing the obesity rates is critical to improving the health of DuPage County. Obesity during childhood and adolescence may lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver disease, joint problems, and asthma. In addition, obesity in children and adolescents may be associated with lower academic achievement, depression, behavioral problems, low self-esteem, and lower quality of life. 

Children who have obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity. Changes made now will not only affect today's children but will have a positive, compounding effect as those children enter adulthood and have their own families. 

What Does Obese Mean?


The term "obesity" refers to body weight that's greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex. For adults, a BMI of 30.0 and above is obese.

How can you tell if your weight is healthy? Calculate your body mass index (BMI) at this link and then follow-up with your doctor for further evaluation if recommended based on the results.

Historic DuPage County Obesity Data

*The 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® message was created by the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC). 5-4-3-2-1 Go!® is a registered trademark and Copyright © 2004 Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. All rights reserved. www.clocc.net.