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Overweight and Obesity Rates Shifting Among Delaware's Kids

DE Survey of Children's Health Reveals Changing Demographics

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Healthy children in Delaware

The Delaware Survey of Children's Health (DSCH), sponsored by Nemours, is a surveillance instrument, administered by telephone, with results from over 3,000 households with children from birth through age 17. Administered in 2006, 2008, and 2011, the DSCH provides data on trends in such issues as weight status, consumption of healthy foods, activity levels, use of screen media, and parental understanding of a child’s weight.

Nemours' goal in administering the DSCH, and publicizing the findings, is to produce more data-driven decision making in the field of child health promotion. In the coming months, analyses from Nemours will explore key trends, such as the relationships among eating, physical activity and screen time habits and the weight status of children in Delaware;  the parental perception of children’s weight; and other issues.

Key Findings
  • 40% of Delaware children, ages 2-17, were overweight or obese in 2011, a figure that is unchanged in terms of statistical significance since the first sampling of the population in 2006.
  • Beneath this "flat" trend line were changes in the demographics of the epidemic:
    • Overweight and obesity decreased from 2008 to 2011 among African-American males and white females;
    • Overweight and obesity increased from 2008 to 2011 among white males.
  • In 2011, Hispanic children had the highest prevalence of overweight and obesity among the racial/ethnic groups in the state. 
  • Survey results show encouraging trends in the lifestyles of Delaware children, with healthy eating and physical activity having increased and consumption of sugar sweetened beverages having declined between 2008 and 2011. Delaware children were, however, watching more television in 2011 than in prior years.
  • In 2011, according to the survey, close to 80% of Delaware parents of overweight children and more than half (55%) of parents of obese children said that their children are at a normal weight. This is similar to findings from the 2006 and 2008 surveys.

"With this latest data from the Delaware Survey of Children's Health we now have the best available information about key issues impacting the health of Delaware's kids. Working with our community partners we can use this data to better understand the underlying causes of overweight and obesity among our children and focus our efforts where they are needed the most."

Mary Kate Mouser, Executive Director,
Nemours Health and Prevention Services

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New data from @Nemours shows #overweight and #obesity rates shifting among #Delaware #kids. #netde

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.