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Mississippi youth obesity rate remains worst among states

New government data show Mississippi young people aren’t getting fatter, but remain the fattest nationwide.

Among children aged 10-17, 26.1 percent were either obese in 2016-2017, That’s about level with the 26.2 percent based on 2016 data alone.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report last week analyzing data collected by a federal government survey.

Nationwide, 15.8 percent of children are obese. Utah children were skinniest, with 8.7 percent obese in 2016-2017.

Only North Dakota had a statistically significant decrease, from 15.8 percent to 12.5 percent.

Seven of 10 states with highest rates are in the South.

Mississippi reported an 11.6 percent decline in the overweight and obesity rates among children in grades K-5 from 2005 to 2013. During that period, officials overhauled school nutrition and physical education standards.

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