Study Pegs Massachusetts Child Obesity Rate at 14.4 Percent

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Obesity affects nearly 83,000 people between the ages of 10 and 17 in Massachusetts, or about 14.4 percent of people in that age group, according to a new report.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported Thursday that the obesity rate for this group puts Massachusetts in the middle of the pack among states, with a ranking of 25th. That rate that has held steady over the years, sums up the State House News Service.

The foundation says it has invested more than $1 billion over the last decade to address the problem, help more children to grow up at a healthy weight, and expand access to affordable healthy foods.

“This new data shows that this challenge touches the lives of far too many children in this country, and that black and Hispanic youth are still at greater risk than their white and Asian peers,” President Richard Besser said in a statement. “We know it won’t be easy, or quick. We know it will require policy changes at every level of government, and we’re working alongside others to implement shifts that will make it easier for kids and their families to be healthy.”

Six states had obesity rates statistically significantly lower than the national rate in 2017-18: Utah (8.7 percent), Minnesota (9.4 percent), Alaska (9.9 percent), Colorado (10.7 percent), Montana (10.8 percent), and Washington (11.0 percent).

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