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Health-Fact Sheet
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North Carolina Health Fact Sheet

Here are some statistics about public health in North Carolina. These can be used to underscore the importance of promoting healthy eating and physical activity in park and recreation agencies. Share these statistics with your staff, manager, or elected officials. If you would like us to include any addition data for this fact sheet, or would like more specific data about your community, email us.



Adult Facts

  • North Carolina, at 29.1% is the 13th most obese state in the nation, but is slightly below the average obesity rate for the South, which is 29.5%. The South has the highest regional rate of obesity in the US.1
  • 29.1% NC adults are obese, and an additional 36% are overweight. Obesity rates are higher for people with a college degree and those with a lower household income; however, the rate of overweight people is consistent across all income and education levels.2
  • Less than half (46.8%) of adults meet CDC recommendations for aerobic activity3, and 1 in 4 (26.7%) of NC adults did not participate in any physical activity outside of work over the course of a month.4
  • 86.3% of adults consume less than the recommended five servings of fruit, vegetables, and/or beans a day5, and 1 in 5 adults drink at least three sweetened beverages a day.6
  • 40% of NC adults have worried about having enough money to purchase nutritious meals.7


Child Facts

  • 30.6% of NC children ages 10-17 are overweight or obese. NC children ages 10-13 have higher rates of obesity and being overweight than those that are ages 13-17.8 Obesity rates are similar for younger children. 15.7% of kids ages 2-4 are obese, and an additional 16.2% are overweight.9
  • Over 60% of NC children under 18 do not get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.10
  • Two-thirds (66%) of NC children under 18 drink at least one sweetened beverage a day, and nearly 1 in 5 have three or more servings a day.11
  • Over half (56%) of NC children receive free or reduced school lunch because they are considered to be from food-insecure households12, and 35.8% of parents have had to serve their child unbalanced meals in the past year because they did not have money to purchase food.13
  • More than a third (38.1%) of NC children ages 5-10 spend at least two hours a day watching TV, playing video games, or surfing the Internet. One in five high schoolers (22.1%) spends at least four hours a day using a TV or computer.14
  • 14.5% of NC children ages 5-17 live less than 1 mile from their school15, but only 3.7% of children walk or bicycle to class.16
  • 1 in 5 (20.7%) of children 2-18 do not receive the recommended hour or more of physical activity on a typical day17, and only 29.2% of children exercise 60 minutes or more every day.18




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