ATLANTA — Children covered by Medicaid are six times more likely than kids covered by private insurance to be treated for severe obesity, according to a recent survey by Thomas MedStat.

About 1,115 of every 100,000 children covered by Medicaid were treated for obesity compared to 195 of every 100,000 privately insured kids. The average annual medical costs for an obese child totaled $6,700 for those on Medicaid and $3,700 for a privately insured child. Experts blame the higher rate of obesity on poor nutrition and the fact that Medicaid children often don't get treatment until they're severely ill.