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Learn the Facts

Alaska is a big state with a big problem:
About 3 of every 10 Alaska kids are overweight.

Obese kids are more likely to grow up to be obese adults. Obese adults are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers.

In Alaska, problems with excess weight start early. Between 27 percent and 40 percent of Alaska’s children are overweight or obese. And that’s not all.

  • 40% of children ages 2 through 4 enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children program are above a healthy weight
  • 32% of children entering kindergarten and 1st grade in the Anchorage School District are above normal weight
  • 36% of K-12 grade students in the Anchorage School District are above a healthy weight
  • 26% of Alaska high school students are overweight or obese

Alaska children need more time for physical activity and less time in front of the television and computers. A 2011 survey of Alaska high school students showed the following:

  • Only 17% of Alaska’s students attended daily physical education classes
  • Only 21% of students met the physical activity recommendation of 60 minutes every day
  • 24% of students watched three or more hours of television on an average day
  • 30% of students played video or computer games or used a computer for something that was not school work three or more hours per day
  • 50% of students spent 3 or more hours in front of a screen every day that was not for school work

Learn more about Alaska's efforts to address childhood obesity.

Obesity in Alaska is costly.

Each year, obesity-related medical expenses cost an estimated $459 million in Alaska. About 25 percent of that cost is paid with funds through Medicare and Medicaid programs.

We can fix this:
People who are physically active as children tend to be physically active as adults.

Physical activity and play help us maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, cancer and more. Kids who are physically active are more likely to do better in school. Families who play together can become closer. For more information about the importance of activity, visit Why We Play?