Overweight and obesity in children participating in Minnesota WIC, age two up to five years old:
Indicators on this page describe obesity and overweight status 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.
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 childhood obesity data.
See "Maps" for obesity and overweight indicators by county and zip code.
Overweight and obesity among children in Minnesota WIC
Overweight and obesity went up between 1990 and 2004 among young children participating in WIC. Since 2004, there have been small declines in both overweight and obesity. In 2017, 16% of children participating in WIC were overweight and 13% were obese. Data for overweight and obesity in MN WIC children ages 2 to 5 years appear to be trending upward since 2015. These changes are not statistically significant and may reflect normal variance within the sample.
Overweight and obesity by race/ethnicity among children in Minnesota WIC
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.
CID indicates cultural identity. Children that identify as Hmong are the most likely to be overweight or obese among Asian cultural identities. Children that identify as Sudanese are the least likely to be overweight or obese among Black cultural identities, but there is less variation among these groups.
Overweight and obesity by age among children in Minnesota WIC
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
Through early childhood, overweight and obesity are similar among boys and girls.
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.