Percentage of U.S. children and adolescents who were obese 1988-2016

Between 2013 and 2016, obesity rates in U.S. children and adolescents stood at 17.9 and 20.6 percent, respectively. This is a noteworthy increase compared to the percentages seen between 1988 and 1994.

U.S. high school obesity rates

Roughly 18 percent of black, as well as Hispanic students in the United States, were obese between 2016 and 2017. Male obesity rates were noticeably higher than those of female students for each of the ethnicities during the measured period. For example, about 20 percent of male Hispanic high school students were obese, compared to 14 percent of female students. The American states with the highest number of obese high school students in 2017 included Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, respectively. Arkansas had a high school student obesity rate of just under 22 percent that year.

Physically inactive Americans

Adults from Kentucky and Arkansas were also reported to be some of the least physically active people in the United States in 2018. When surveyed, over 30 percent of adults from Kentucky and Arkansas had not exercised within the preceding 30 days. The national physical inactivity average stood at approximately 26 percent that year.

Percentage of U.S. children and adolescents who were obese in selected periods between 1988 and 2016

6-11 years12-19 years
1988-1994 11.3%10.5%
Loading statistic...
You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period

1988 to 2016

Age group

6-19 years

Supplementary notes

Values not included in the pdf version of the report were taken from the Health, United States, trend tables.

Open this statistic in...
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Health risk factors in the U.S."

Further Content: You might find this interesting as well

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.