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Kentucky ranks #1 in childhood obesity

Childhood Obesity Infographic. Statistic and prevalence in the world of overweight children. Flat Art Vector illustration

Jennifer Moonsong

Division Publisher

Metcalfe and Barren


When it comes to childhood obesity, Kentucky now ranks number 1 nationwide. This embarrassing statistic for the Bluegrass state was a culmination of 2021 reports.

Mississippi, Louisiana, and West Virginia come in at two, three, and four. Montana ranks best.

Based on the BMI and a report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), two of every 10 children 6-19 years old are obese.

That’s not to say that it’s only the children who are suffering. The CDC obesity numbers for adults in Kentucky have also doubled. Nationwide, Kentucky ranked number four in the most unhealthy states.

According to experts, the problem is threefold.

For starters, Kentucky is still considered to be a “food desert” because when geographical and economic limitations meet, there is a lack of fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins.

Secondly, people of all ages are inactive. Inactivity is a primary cause, particularly when coupled with diet.

Third, the chronic presence of disease rooted in heredity and lifestyle are ever prevalent – even amongst children.

According to a childhood disease expert from Norton’s Children’s Hospital in Louisville, sleep apnea, asthma, liver disease, and diabetes contributes to obesity.


The CDC further stated that the onset of Covid impacted numbers negatively.


Although turning around a health trend of this magnitude is no easy task, and will not change overnight, experts say the solution is not complex. More fresh food and more exercise is the remedy.


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