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Friday, December 17, 2010

Obesity Stable Among South Dakota Kids

Governor Mike Rounds is holding legacy-pressers to take credit for increasing South Dakota jobs, GDP, and university enrollment. Does he also want to take credit for maintaining the percentage of heavy kids?

The South Dakota Department of Health reports lots of our kids are still fat. "For the 2009-2010 school year, 32.7% of students were either overweight (16.7%) or obese (16%)." We've seen a little slimming from last year, but the numbers have hardly budged from in academic year 2003–2004, when 15.8% of South Dakota kids were obese and another 16.1% overweight.

Now note if you read the DoH reports that they changed terminology in the AY 2006–2007 report. Before that, kids in the 85th to 94th percentile for body-mass index (BMI) were labeled "at risk of overweight," while kids at or above the 95th percentile were labeled "overweight." In '06&ndash'07, "overweight" became "obese" and "at risk" became "overweight."

Confusing, I know. Just drink less pop and ride more bike, would ya?

Early in the Rounds Administration, the Department of Health set a goal to "reduce the percent of school-age children and adolescents who are overweight or obese from 17% in 2003 to 15% by 2010.” With the wording change, that goal became "reduce the percent of school-age children and adolescents who are at or above the 95th percentile BMI for age (obese) from 17 percent in 2003 to 15 percent by 2010.” No such luck.

Interestingly, the number of underweight kids has increased, too. In AY 2003–04, 2.8% of students (27,245) were below the fifth percentile for body mass index. I can't find the 2009–10 report yet, but the 2008–09 report shows 3.9% of students (40,202) underweight.

I guess that's one more example of the middle class getting smaller.


  1. No, we need Michelle Obama to regulate school lunches. That way schools can thow away tons of vegatables that kids don't eat.

  2. Turn off the Sarah Palin channel, Todd, and face facts: There's an obesity problem in the country and Michelle Obama is trying to educate kids to common sense solutions to solve that costly problem. So says Mike Huckabee:

    "Michelle Obama's not trying to tell people what to eat or not trying to force the government's desires on people.... She's stating the obvious, that we do have an obesity problem in this country."


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