Child Nutrition in USA 2012: One in Three children is overweight or obese


  • One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Compared to White (non-Hispanic) teenagers, Hispanic teens are 32 percent more likely and Black teens are 26 percent more likely to be overweight or obese.

  • In 2010, one in nine children – 16 million in total – lived in households struggling to afford the food they needed to ensure their children would not go to sleep or to school hungry. One out of 77 children went without enough food at least once (see Table 16 for state-level food insecurity information).

  • Roughly eight million more children received SNAP benefits (food stamps) in the spring of 2011 than four years earlier, bringing the total number of child recipients to 21 million, or more than one in four children (see Table 17 for state-level information about SNAP participation in 2009 and 2010).

  • Over 20.7 million children received free or reduced-price lunch through the National School Lunch Program in 2011, but less than half of those children participated in the School Breakfast Program and only one in nine in the Summer Food Service Program (see Table 18).

  • Despite record numbers of children being eligible for food assistance, participation in the Summer Food Service Program has fallen nationally by 3.9 percent since 2008.

Children's Defense Fund, "The State of America's Children 2012 Handbook," July 22, 2012, p28. http://www.childrensdefense.org/child-research-data-publications/data/so...

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