Childhood Obesity

DuPage County Health Department's latest publication on Childhood Obesity in DuPage County (PDF) is now available. Additional information on methods, statistics, and references can be found in the supplemental document (PDF). For more health indicators in DuPage County, visit Impact DuPage.

What the Data Say

The obesity rate continues to hold steady among school-aged youth. In 2017-2018, more than one-in-seven (14.5 percent) kindergarten, sixth and ninth grade public school students in DuPage County had obesity. Additionally, in 2017 to 2018, 42.5 percent of students with obesity had an elevated blood pressure reading.

The obesity rate among children aged 2-to-4 years enrolled in DuPage County's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program (16.4 percent in 2017) continues to exceed the national WIC rate (14.5 percent in 2014), stressing the need for early intervention. WIC is the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for women, infants, and children.

Suggested citation: Childhood Obesity in DuPage County. Wheaton (IL): DuPage County Health Department. December 2018.

What You Can Do

  1. Early Childhood Centers
  2. Schools
  3. Parents
  4. Employers

What Early Childhood Centers Can Do

What Everyone Can Do

  • Share the 2018 DuPage Obesity Report (PDF) in your community! Don't forget about your:
    • Community groups
    • Elected officials
    • Employers
    • Faith-based leaders
    • Healthcare providers
    • Parent Teacher Association (PTA) members
    • School administrators
    • Teachers
  • Get involved with FORWARD, a coalition of partners dedicated to reversing the obesity trend in DuPage County by educating children and families about the importance of eating healthy and being physically active.
  • Use the American Heart Association's Life's Simple 7 to make simple changes:
    • Control cholesterol
    • Eat better
    • Get active
    • Lose weight
    • Manage blood pressure
    • Reduce blood sugar
    • Stop smoking
  • Take one-to-two minutes to find out if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Importance of Reducing Childhood Obesity Rates

Reducing obesity rates is critical to improving the health of DuPage County. Obesity during childhood and adolescence may lead to health problems such as:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Joint problems

In addition, obesity in children and adolescents may be associated with:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lower academic achievement
  • 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.

Definition of Obesity and Body Mass Index

The term "obesity" refers to bodyweight 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 BMI and then follow up with your doctor for further evaluation if recommended based on the results.

Historic DuPage County Obesity Data

Browse the DuPage County Obesity reports.

Sources

Alleman, E, et al. (2017). A Collaborative Approach to Childhood Obesity Surveillance From a Local Health Department. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 23(6), e17-e20. DOI: 10.1097/phh00000000000615

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 and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. All rights reserved.