Childhood obesity

Overweight and obesity in Minnesota WIC children, age two up to five:


Overweight and obesity are determined using Body Mass Index (BMI) percentile. This means that a child's weight, height, age, and sex are all taken into account. For more information, see About the data.

Overweight and obesity in Minnesota WIC children

Overweight and obesity went up between 1990 and 2004 among children two up to five years of age. Since 2004, there have been small declines in both overweight and obesity. In 2014, 15% of children were overweight and 13% were obese.


Overweight and obesity by age in Minnesota WIC children

Data are for 2014.
Data are for 2014.

Overweight and obesity increase with age among young children. Four-year-olds are more likely to be overweight or obese compared to two- and three-year-olds.


Overweight and obesity by sex in Minnesota WIC children

Data are for 2014.
Data are for 2014.

Through early childhood, overweight and obesity are similar among boys and girls.


Overweight and obesity by race/ethnicity in Minnesota WIC children

Data are for 2014. NH indicates non-Hispanic.
Data are for 2014.

Health inequities in overweight and obesity are seen among Minnesota's diverse racial and ethnic groups. Compared to other groups, obesity and overweight are highest among American Indian children.


Obesity in Minnesota WIC children

Overlayed boundaries represent American Indian grantees who participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. Regional differences can be seen in childhood obesity. Obesity is higher in children living in some counties in Northern Minnesota compared to state averages. Data are for 2014. This childhood obesity map and the accompanying data table are available for download. Additional maps that show childhood weight status are available through the the WIC Program.
Region Obesity in WIC children
Minnesota 12.6%
Aitkin County 10.1%
Anoka County 11.1%
Becker County 14.6%
Beltrami County 22.0%
Benton County 12.3%
Big Stone County 5.4%
Blue Earth County 9.5%
Brown County 16.7%
Carlton County 12.2%
Carver County 5.3%
Cass County 21.9%
Chippewa County 14.0%
Chisago County 12.0%
Clay County 12.2%
Clearwater County 23.0%
Cook County 13.6%
Cottonwood County 14.9%
Crow Wing County 11.0%
Dakota County 11.8%
Dodge County 10.9%
Douglas County 10.1%
Faribault County 21.0%
Fillmore County 10.1%
Freeborn County 13.1%
Goodhue County 12.5%
Grant County 11.5%
Hennepin County 12.3%
Houston County 16.2%
Hubbard County 9.5%
Isanti County 11.6%
Itasca County 13.9%
Jackson County 17.2%
Kanabec County 10.9%
Kandiyohi County 13.6%
Kittson County 19.4%
Koochiching County 17.5%
Lac qui Parle County 11.3%
Lake County 13.5%
Lake of the Woods County 15.8%
Le Sueur County 13.9%
Lincoln County 13.3%
Lyon County 14.5%
Mahnomen County 24.1%
Marshall County 14.3%
Martin County 16.6%
McLeod County 13.3%
Meeker County 12.0%
Mille Lacs County 10.5%
Morrison County 8.0%
Mower County 14.2%
Murray County 8.3%
Nicollet County 10.0%
Nobles County 13.7%
Norman County 11.0%
Olmsted County 11.5%
Otter Tail County 11.2%
Pennington County 12.6%
Pine County 10.8%
Pipestone County 8.7%
Polk County 13.0%
Pope County 10.9%
Ramsey County 13.7%
Red Lake County 12.7%
Redwood County 12.3%
Renville County 17.0%
Rice County 13.6%
Rock County 7.5%
Roseau County 12.0%
Saint Louis County 11.4%
Scott County 9.6%
Sherburne County 8.3%
Sibley County 8.7%
Stearns County 11.0%
Steele County 10.8%
Stevens County 3.8%
Swift County 8.8%
Todd County 16.6%
Traverse County 4.3%
Wabasha County 17.7%
Wadena County 16.5%
Waseca County 11.5%
Washington County 11.7%
Watonwan County 20.4%
Wilkin County 10.3%
Winona County 12.2%
Wright County 8.0%
Yellow Medicine County 15.3%
Overlayed polygons represent American Indian grantees who participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. Regional differences can be seen in childhood obesity. Obesity is higher in children living in some counties in Northern Minnesota compared to state averages. Data are for 2014. This childhood obesity map and the accompanying data table are available for download. Additional maps that show childhood weight status are available through the the WIC Program.


About WIC

These data are for low-income children two up to five years of age who participate in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program. The WIC Program is a nutrition and breastfeeding program that helps young families eat well,  learn about nutrition, and stay healthy. Minnesota WIC promotes a healthy weight for both mother and child through these services:

  • Individualized nutrition assessments and counseling on how to help children eat a healthy diet;
  • Providing a more nutritious food package in 2009 to include low fat milk, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables;
  • Monitoring appropriate weight gain and growth;
  • Encouraging families to be physically active and to limit screen time for television, computers and video games;
  • Referrals to community nutrition and physical activity resources;
  • Promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and breastfeeding with healthy foods for the first year of life; and
  • Promoting appropriate weight gain during pregnancy.

Data reports on the WIC program are available here