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Overweight and Physical Activity Among Children:  A Portrait of States and the Nation, 2005
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Welcome

Dear Colleagues:

The Health Resources and Services Administration is pleased to present this chartbook highlighting the major findings of the National Survey of Children’s Health on overweight and physical activity among children. This survey, the first of its kind, presents nationaland state-level information on the health and well-being of children, their families and neighborhood environments, and their use of health services.

The survey includes many positive findings about weight and physical activity among children aged 10 to 17 years. According to calculations based on parent-reported height and weight, 85 percent of children are not considered overweight. The National Survey of Children’s Health also found that most are physically active on three or more days per week, and over half participate in sports teams or take sports lessons.

Despite these positive findings, 15 percent of children were found to be overweight and almost 30 percent do not exercise on three or more days per week. The survey also found that children in certain populations are more likely to be overweight or not physically active. For instance, Black and Hispanic children are more likely to be overweight and are less likely to be physically active than children of other racial and ethnic groups. Considering the established importance of healthy weight and physical activity and the link between the two, the results of this survey have important implications for the future health of today’s children and the policies that affect them.

We at HRSA hope that these findings provide useful information and are helpful in your efforts to promote healthy weight and physical activity among America’s youth.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth M. Duke
Administrator
Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration

This chartbook is based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health. Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The National Survey of Children's Health 2003. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005.