Obesity has reached epidemic levels in Ohio, like much of the nation. Children who are obese are at increased risk for many health problems including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, asthma, and joint problems. Children who have obesity are more likely to become adults with obesity. Most children spend time in care outside of their home, making Early Care and Education (ECE) settings and schools some of the best places to reach children with obesity prevention efforts.
Annually, an additional $2.9 billion is spent on health care to treat the preventable diseases associated with childhood obesity. Without significant policy, systems, and environmental changes, those costs are expected to double by 2030.
The 2016 Early Childhood Data Brief shows the health and economic impact of childhood overweight and obesity in Ohio.
Early Childhood BMI Surveillance Project
The Ohio Department of Health conducted a statewide Body Mass Index (BMI) screening survey of preschool-aged children (3-5 years) in 2016-2017. Over 3,000 children at 82 early care and education centers were screened. Sites were chosen to be representative of the state as a whole.
For more data on national BMI trends, visit the CDC’s database.