DuPage County Health Department's latest publication on Childhood Obesity in DuPage County (2018 Annual Report) is now available. Additional information on methods, statistics, and references, can be found in the supplement document. For more health indicators in DuPage County, visit Impact DuPage.

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

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%) kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade public school students in DuPage County had obesity.

Additionally, in 2017-2018, 42.5% 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 WIC Program (16.4% in 2017) 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 Everyone Can Do

Share this report in your community! Don't forget about your elected officials, school administrators, teachers, PTA, healthcare providers, community groups, employers, and faith-based leaders.

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 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

What Early Childhood Centers Can Do

Provide nutritional education to parents.

Provide a variety of nutritious foods, limiting junk food and sugary drinks at snack time.

Provide a dedicated time for physical activity.

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 Healthy Kids, Healthy Future. 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 3.0 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 Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program recognition.

Adopt the 5-4-3-2-1Go!®*message.

What Parents Can Do

Prepare and eat meals together as a family.

Offer healthy snacks including lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains.

Serve reasonably-sized portions.

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

Don't use food as a reward.

Be physically active daily as a family.

Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.

Be a role model for your child.

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.

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 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

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/phh.0000000000000615 or Retrieved from

*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.