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Public Health


Weight that is above what’s considered to be a healthy weight for a given height is described as overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese is a result of excess body fat and/or abnormal body fat distribution. Body Mass Index, or BMI, is used as a screening tool for weight and obesity.

Quick Facts About Obesity
  • Obesity rates among children in the U.S. have doubled since 1980 and have tripled for adolescents
  • 18.5% of children ages 6 to 19 are considered overweight
  • Over 73% of adults are considered overweight or obese
  • Women are 9.2% more likely to be obese than men
  • Oklahoma has the fourth highest obesity rate in the United States, with approximately 36.8% of Oklahoman adults being obese
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data, 2019
  • Oklahoma has the fifth highest obesity rate for children aged 10 to 17
    • Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) data query. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)
  • Approximately 47% of the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health (CNDH) population is obese
    • Chickasaw Nation RPMS
  • 24% of children ages 2 to 18 are obese within the CNDH population
    • Chickasaw Nation RPMS
Adult Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by their height in meters squared. A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fatness. To calculate BMI, see the Adult BMI Calculator or determine BMI by finding your height and weight in this BMI Index Chart.

  • If your BMI is less than 18.5, it falls within the underweight range.
  • If your BMI is 18.5 to <25, it falls within the normal range.
  • If your BMI is 25 to <30, it falls within the overweight range.
  • If your BMI is 30 or higher, it falls within the obese range.
Consequences of Obesity
People who are obese are at an increased risk of serious diseases and health conditions, including but not limited to: diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, body pain, etc. The economic impact of obesity is significant; associated medical costs may involve direct and indirect costs with many obese people applying for disability. Obesity can also cause premature mortality.
How to Prevent Obesity in Adolescents
  • Gradually work to change family eating habits and activity levels rather than focusing on weight. Incorporating healthy habits promotes a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight.
  • Be a role model. Parents who eat healthy foods and are physically active set an example that increases the likelihood that their children will do the same.
  • Encourage physical activity. Children should have an hour of moderate physical activity most days of the week. More than an hour of activity may promote weight loss and subsequent maintenance.
  • Reduce time in front of the TV and computer to less than two hours a day.
  • Encourage children to eat only when hungry and to eat slowly.
  • Avoid using food as a reward or withholding food as a punishment.
  • Keep the refrigerator stocked with fat-free or low-fat milk and fresh fruits and vegetables instead of soft drinks and snacks high in sugar and fat.
  • Give children at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Encourage children to drink water rather than beverages with added sugar, such as soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice drinks.
How to Prevent Obesity in Adults
  • Eat five to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A vegetable serving is one cup of raw vegetables or one-half cup of cooked vegetables or vegetable juice. A fruit serving is one piece of small to medium fresh fruit, one-half cup of canned fruit, fresh fruit or fruit juice or one-fourth cup of dried fruit.
  • Choose whole grain foods such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Avoid highly processed foods made with refined white sugar, flour and saturated fat.
  • Weigh and measure food to gain an understanding of portion sizes. For example, a three-ounce serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Avoid super-sized menu items particularly at fast-food restaurants. You can achieve a lot just with proper choices in serving sizes.
  • Balance the food “checkbook.” Eating more calories than you burn for energy will lead to weight gain.
  • Weigh yourself regularly.
  • Avoid foods that are high in “energy density” or that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food. For example, a large cheeseburger and a large order of fries may have almost 1,000 calories and 30 or more grams of fat. By ordering a grilled chicken sandwich or a plain hamburger and a small salad with low-fat dressing, you can avoid hundreds of calories and eliminate much of the fat intake. For dessert, have fruit or a piece of angel food cake rather than the “death by chocolate” special.
  • Maintain at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week. Examples include walking a 15-minute mile or weeding and hoeing the garden.
  • Find opportunities during the day for even just 10 to 15 minutes of calorie-burning activity, such as walking around the block or taking the stairs at work. Again, every little bit helps.
For more information on how to improve your family’s health, please visit an Empowered Living clinic in your area. More information here.
Chickasaw Nation Department of Health

Primary Care

Your primary care health team is your partner in lifelong wellness. From annual checkups, to minor aches and pains, to injuries, illness and everything in between, the Chickasaw Nation Primary Care Clinic is your first call for health and wellness concerns.

We value you as a patient and our goal is to work together to facilitate a relationship that provides you with the highest quality of comprehensive care. Let us get to know you as you navigate good health through all seasons of life.


Your nearest primary care clinic looks forward to serving you and your health needs. Please call to schedule an appointment or for more information about available primary care services at your preferred clinic:

To protect your privacy, appointments, prescription refills or test results cannot be given via email or other messaging methods. Please call your preferred clinic for assistance.


For every childhood ailment, injury or concern, the Chickasaw Nation offers pediatric services at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center and all three satellite clinics. You have an expert on your team with pediatric primary care. Visit for well-child and sick child exams, immunizations, sports physicals and referrals to specialty clinics as needed. Our pediatricians and nurses are trained to provide superior care to newborns, children and young adults.


Your nearest pediatric primary care clinic is ready to help your growing family. Please call to schedule an appointment or for more information about available pediatric primary care services at your preferred clinic:

To protect your privacy, appointments, prescription refills or test results cannot be given via email or other messaging methods. Please call your preferred clinic for assistance.

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