(Ohio) – According to a new study, Ohio has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation for children ages 10 to 17.
The study was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Researchers determined that one in seven Ohio kids are considered obese with some researchers even calling childhood obesity an ‘epidemic’ in the United States.
According to the results of the study, “State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children’s Health During the Pandemic,” Ohio’s obesity rate for kids from 10 to 17 years old is 15.7 percent, which is higher than the national rate of 15.5 percent for the same age group. These statistics make Ohio’s childhood obesity rate the 20th highest in the nation.
But, why is this happening? According to experts, poverty continues to be a leading contributing factor to youth obesity. Couple that with the shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic and experts believe the youth obesity crisis is likely even worse. Additionally, the study revealed that obesity rates also often reveal racial, ethnic, and economic disparities with Black, Hispanic, and Native American children having higher rates than white or Asian children.
Researches have recommended that the federal government increase SNAP’s maximum benefit level while also expanding waivers to allow school districts to feed students as a way to fight back against childhood obesity.