Survey shows Mississippi childhood obesity may be declining

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - New government data shows Mississippi children aren't getting fatter, and may be getting thinner.

Among children aged 10-17, 37 percent were either overweight or obese in 2016.

An advocacy group, the Trust for America's Health, released a report Tuesday analyzing data collected by a federal government survey.

Mississippi children ranked third-fattest, behind Tennessee at 37.7 percent and North Dakota at 37.1 percent. Utah children were skinniest, with 19.2 percent overweight or obese.

Survey methods changed from earlier, meaning results from those years may not be comparable.

Mississippi's childhood obesity rate was 39.7 percent in 2011 and 44.4 percent in 2007. Overall, the Trust for America's Health says results show childhood obesity has stopped rising over the last decade.

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