Childhood Obesity

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Nearly one quarter of high school children in Mississippi are obese. We're working to change that.

The Problem

Obesity among Mississippi students and children has historically been among the highest in the nation. Mississippi children eat less nutritious meals and get less physical activity today than in the past, and it's creating a future of chronic disease and shorter life.

Data from surveys of high school students show that:

  • About 16% of high school students went a week without vegetables.
  • About 40% were not physically active for an hour a day.
  • About 28% watch television 3 or more hours a day on school days.

The Progress

Obesity in Mississippi teens has fallen in recent years, significant progress in this difficult problem. Schools are changing their approach to nutrition and exercise, and parents are getting educated about healthy living for their children and themselves. We're still learning about the causes of obesity and how to address them, but we've also learned that eating right, getting active, and involving parents can lead to progress and a better future.

What You Can Do

  • Get your kids eating right with 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That's half the plate at every meal.
  • Limit TV and computer time as much as possible, and encourage outdoor activity instead — even if it's just walking half an hour a day.
  • Learn what you can do to improve nutrition for yourself and your family. Use these meal planning and shopping ideas, and our collection of low-calorie, low-cost recipes.
  • Let your daycare know that you're interested in the best nutrition for your children.

Find Out More

Last reviewed on Sep 6, 2023 request edits
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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