Childhood obesity is now a nation- al epidemic with more than one out of eight children considered overweight. While there is heightened concern about the physical and emotional consequences of childhood obesity, there are numerous challenges in addressing the issue. First, several states do not have consistent and reliable sources of data on childhood overweight, including poten- tial contributors, that provide insight into the extent and degree of the problem. Second, the contributors to childhood obesity are multi-factorial and complex. Finally, the solutions require a multi- pronged and, in some cases, systemic approach. Nevertheless, several legisla- tive opportunities exist to reduce the rate of overweight and improve the health of youth and their families.

Publication Date


Research Center

Southern Rural Development Center


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