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Obesity Data

How Common It Is - Prevalence, Trends, and Disparities

Childhood Obesity

  • In 2012, about 25 percent of children (ages 2-4 years old and receiving WIC services) were overweight or obese.
  • In 2012, about 23 percent of 10th graders in Washington’s public schools were overweight or obese. About 10 percent were obese and 13 percent were overweight.
  • Rates for 10th grader obesity and overweight have remained about the same for the past decade.
  • Among 10th graders, American Indian/Alaska Native, black, Hispanic and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations were more likely to be overweight or obese than whites or Asians (Table 1).

For more detailed information, see the Child Weight and Physical Activity Report (PDF).

Adult Obesity

  • In 2011, about 27 percent of Washington adults were obese.
  • Adult obesity trends may have started to level off over the past few years.
  • Obesity rates were higher in populations with lower income (Table 2) and lower education (Table 3). Among adults:
    • American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations had the highest age adjusted rates of obesity.
    • Black and Hispanic populations had a higher rate of obesity than non-Hispanic whites.
    • Obesity rates were lowest among Asians (Table 4).

For more detailed information, see the Obesity Data Report (PDF).

Pre-pregnancy Obesity and Weight Gain during Pregnancy

  • Pre-pregnancy obesity and weight gain above the recommended range during pregnancy can increase health risks for mother and child.
  • About 24 percent of women who gave birth in 2008-2010 were obese at the start of their pregnancies, and 48 percent gained more than the recommended weight during pregnancy.

Table 1: Childhood Overweight and Obesity by Race/Ethnicity
(Healthy Youth Survey, 2012)

Race/Ethnicity Percent   Margin of Error (+/-)
State 23
Asian 16  5
White  21  3
Hispanic  27  4
Black  29  7
Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islander  33  12
American Indian/Alaska Native  34  7

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Table 2: Adult Obesity by Household Income
(Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2009-2011)

Household Income
Percent   Margin of Error (+/-)
Less than $35,000 31 2
$35,000 to $74,900 28  2
$75,000 or more
 21  3

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Table 3: Adult Obesity by Educational Level (age 25+)
(Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2009-2011)

Educational Level
Percent   Margin of Error (+/-)
High School or Less
Some College
32  2
College Graduate or More
 20 2

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Table 4: Adult Obesity by Race/Ethnicity
(Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2011)

Race/Ethnicity Percent   Margin of Error (+/-)
State 27
Asian 8  2
Non-Hispanic White 27
Hispanic  32  3
Black  39  5
American Indian/Alaska Native  44  6
Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islander  46  9