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Mon September 16, 2013

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and FORWARD, a county-wide, public-private partnership of the DuPage County Health Department, has released its most recent report on the rates of overweight and obesity among children in DuPage County.

Data were analyzed for 30,559 kindergarten, sixth and ninth grade students for the 2012-2013 school year. Among public school students, 29.9 percent were overweight or obese and 14.4 percent were obese. Our data reflect an improvement over the previous school year for public school students whose rates were 31 percent overweight or obese and 15.4 percent obese. Private schools were added to the sampling for the first time this year.

FORWARD has been collecting body mass index (BMI) data since the fall of 2010 and now has over 90 percent of public schools and 15 percent of private schools participating. Further surveillance is needed to fully assess any trends in overweight and obesity in DuPage County. FORWARD is now collecting data for the 2013-2014 school year.

Despite a small improvement, FORWARD will remain steadfast in its efforts to make the healthy choice the easy choice for DuPage County with the help of parents, healthcare providers, educators, civic leaders and other organizations.

Through a broad-based network of more than 1,000 committed partners, FORWARD's goal is to implement changes by identifying resources, harnessing expertise, promoting education and advancing opportunities for policy, system, and environmental change.

For more information, follow FORWARD on Twitter(@forward_dupage), Facebook(, or visit