ObesityTitle2016

A Call for Community Action with Release of Latest DuPage Obesity Data

The DuPage County Health Department and FORWARD have released the latest obesity data for DuPage County in a publication titled Call to Action on Obesity: Making Healthy Lifestyles a Priority in DuPage County; see below for highlights. For more information on our methods, statistics, and resources, click here

What The Data Say

  • The rate of obesity in DuPage County public school students declined from 15.7% in 2011-2012 to 14.4% in 2015-2016. Still, more than one in seven (14.4%) kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade public school students in DuPage County were obese in 2015-2016.
  • Additionally, in 2015-2016, 42% of all obese students had an elevated blood pressure (BP) reading, and when broken down by grade:
    49% of obese 9th graders had an elevated BP reading
    41% of obese 6th graders had an elevated BP reading
    34% of obese kindergarteners had an elevated BP reading
  • Obesity among DuPage County children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in WIC (15.5% in 2015) was higher than the national obesity rate among children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in WIC (14.5% in 2014), and was almost double the most recent national estimate for children aged 2 to 5 years (8.9%), stressing the need for early intervention. WIC is the USDA's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • In 2014, more than one in five (23%) of surveyed DuPage County adults reported being obese.

To view the full publication, click here. For more information on our methods, statistics, and resources, click here. For more health indicators in DuPage County, visit www.impactdupage.org or click the links below.

What You Can Do

Spread the word about the publication, Call to Action on Obesity: Making Healthy Lifestyles a Priority in DuPage County. Really, pass it on. Don't forget about your elected officials, school administration and PTA, healthcare providers, teachers, community groups, employers, and faith-based leaders.

Adopt the 5-4-3-2-1 Go!®* message in your home, school, practice, and community.

For more details on next steps, choose your role or target audience from below:

Importance of Reducing Childhood Obesity Rates

Reducing the obesity rates is critical to improving the health of DuPage County. 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. Obese adults may also experience greater risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder disease.

Children who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are five times more likely to be overweight or obese as adults. Additionally, if either parent is obese, the child has a significantly greater risk of obesity in adulthood. This is especially concerning since more than 20% of surveyed DuPage County adults reported being obese. 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.