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Teen Obesity

Teen obesity in South Region remains elevated as rates in Seattle decrease.

 

In a survey of Washington public school students, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders were asked for their height, weight, gender and age. For 2014 and 2016 combined, 9% of students reported heights and weights that classified them as obese for their gender and age.

  • Place: The teen obesity rate in South region (13%) was almost twice the rate seen in the rest of the county: North Region (7%), Seattle (7%) and East Region (6%).
  • Trends: The overall teen obesity rate for the county remained stable at or near 9%, but this masked divergent trends in some communities within the county.  In 2004, rates were similar in Seattle and South Region. But by 2016, Seattle rates had fallen by almost half (from 12% to 7%) while rates in South Region increased (from 11% to 14%). Also, obesity in Black/African American students fell from 16% to 12% during this period.
  • Gender: Obesity rates were twice as high in males (12%) than in females (6%).
  • Sexual orientation: At 14%, the obesity rate in lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens was higher than the county average.
  • Race and ethnicity: Three racial/ethnic groups were more likely than King County teens as a whole to report heights and weights that classified them as obese: Black/African American teens (12%), Hispanic/Latino teens (16%), and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander teens (26%). Asian teens (6%) were less likely to be obese than the county average.

In total, 21% of teens reported heights and weights that classified them as overweight or obese.

Source: Healthy Youth Survey