The United States isn’t making progress in the fight against childhood obesity after all, according to a new analysis published in Pediatrics. In fact, comprehensive federal data shows that the obesity rate in children aged 2 to 19 rose from 14 percent in 1999 to 18.5 percent in 2015-2016.
For the Pediatrics study, researchers at Duke University in North Carolina analyzed the latest national data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, one of the federal government's main measures of childhood obesity. They found no statistical difference in overall obesity rates in children from 2013-2014 to 2015-2016.
The data also shows a significant increase in obesity in children 2 to 5 years old – from 9 percent in 1999 to 14 percent in 2015-2016. Obesity rates also continue to be higher in Hispanic and African-American children, say the researchers.