SANTA FE – With 16.9% of its young residents between the ages of 10 and 17 considered obese, New Mexico’s rate ranks as the 11th worst in the nation, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Among the state’s young Hispanics, the obesity rate is 19.8%, according to the New Jersey-based nonprofit. The report noted that the obesity rate for New Mexico youth has held steady in recent years.
Mississippi (25.4%), West Virginia (20.9%) and Kentucky (20.8%) had the highest rates of youth obesity, while Utah (8.7%), Minnesota (9.4%) and Alaska (9.9%) had the lowest rates.
For the nation as a whole, black and Hispanic youth had higher rates of obesity (22.2% and 19%, respectively) than white (11.8%) and Asian (7.3%) youth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is defined as a body mass index that is at or above the 95th percentile for children and teens of the same age and sex.
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