As health officials struggle to curb a rising obesity problem in adults across the country, childhood obesity rates continue to be a major problem as well.
According to a new study, from 2016-2017, 15.8 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 were considered obese.
Just eight states had a childhood obesity rate far lower than the national average.
Mississippi reported the highest rate, with just over 26 percent of their children considered obese. Utah had the lowest rate, with 8.7 percent.
For researchers, North Dakota stood out in a good way: Its childhood obesity rate dropped by more than three percentage points in the two year period.
Being obese when you’re young can lead to poor lifestyle habits in adulthood.
Obesity-related diseases are also one of the reasons overall life expectancy in the U.S. is declining.
Researchers made some recommendations on how the government can help to reverse the trend.
Strengthening nutrition support programs for low-income families, maintaining good nutrition standards in school meals, and ensuring students get at least an hour of physical activity at school every day.