Childhood Obesity

26% of children in Washtenaw County were overweight or obese in 2017.

Being overweight in childhood puts individuals at risk of obesity and other chronic diseases in adulthood. Childhood overweight and obesity rates have continued to increase in the United States over the past 20 years. However, in Washtenaw County, childhood overweight and obesity rates have reached a plateau, staying at 26% over the last five years. For many children in the County, the overweight and obesity rates are the same or lower in 2017 compared to 2013. Despite this local progress, inequities still exist for some children in the County.

The Washtenaw County Childhood Overweight and Obesity (2016) data report provides information to identify factors that put local children at risk of being overweight or obese. Detailed BMI category charts identify factors that increase risk of a child being underweight, as well as overweight or obese.

2017 Overweight and Obesity by Zip Code for Children Ages 2 to 17 Years

NEW - Highlights From 2017

  • Good news: Overweight and obesity rates are equal to or lower in 2017 than they were in 2013 across all age groups.
  • Good news: Many racial and ethnic groups have lower rates of overweight and obesity in 2017 compared to 2013.
    • Opportunity to improve: Between 2013 and 2017, overweight and obesity rates in Hispanic or Latino children in Washtenaw County increased from 31% to 33%.

Childhood Obesity Community Data Reports

Brief reports for children in several communities in Washtenaw County have been prepared in order to identify populations who are at risk of being overweight or obese at a more local level.

NEW - a focus on obesity in children in Washtenaw County

Reports from previous years can be found here.

Detailed BMI Category Charts

These charts contain more comprehensive information on rates of underweight and healthy weight, as well as overweight and obesity, for children in Washtenaw County.


The Washtenaw childhood obesity surveillance project began in 2013. Through the Health Improvement Plan (HIP) collaborative, Washtenaw County Health Department worked with St. Joseph Mercy Health System and the Michigan Medicine to create the Washtenaw Child BMI Dataset. In the first year, both health systems contributed measured height and weight data from electronic health records for over 18,000 children, ages 2 to 17 years old, living in Washtenaw County. Each year since, the health systems contributed records from over 31,000 children each year, covering nearly 50% of children in Washtenaw County.

Additional Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an additional valuable resource for information on childhood obesity risk and prevention measures.

For more information about the dataset or the reports, please email Kelly McCarthy, Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist.