The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that the obesity rate for this group in 2017-2018 puts Massachusetts in the middle of the pack among states, with a ranking of 25th. That rate has held steady over the years.
Children who have obesity face a greater risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases. Nationally, obesity rates for black and Hispanic youths were significantly higher than for white or Asian youths.
The foundation says it has invested more than $1 billion over the last decade to address childhood obesity, help more children grow up at a healthy weight, and expand access to affordable healthful foods.
“These new data show that this challenge touches the lives of far too many children in this country, and that black and Hispanic youth are still at greater risk than their white and Asian peers,” foundation president Richard Besser said in a statement.
“We know it won’t be easy, or quick,’’ Besser said of the foundation’s efforts to trim childhood obesity rates. “We know it will require policy changes at every level of government, and we’re working alongside others to implement shifts that will make it easier for kids and their families to be healthy.”
Other highlights in the report:
■ Obesity rates among young people for the rest of New England: Connecticut, 11.5 percent; New Hampshire, 12.3 percent; Rhode Island, 14 percent; Maine, 14.9 percent; and Vermont, 15.1 percent.
Six states had youth obesity rates statistically significantly lower than the national rate in 2017-18: Utah (8.7 percent), Minnesota (9.4 percent), Alaska (9.9 percent), Colorado (10.7 percent), Montana (10.8 percent), and Washington (11.0 percent).
■ Childhood obesity is estimated to cost $14 billion annually in direct health expenses.