Childhood obesity rates decline
First, the good news: childhood obesity rates have declined in the U.S. for the first time since such records have been kept, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.) However, there is still bad news: one in eight children aged two to four years old is overweight. The new CDC report does show some promise, though, indicating that anti-obesity efforts are moving the needle in the right direction, even if the reductions were relatively small. This change was measured among low-income children, and it was unclear if this trend also applied to kids from more affluent backgrounds.
This study looked at data collected between 2003 and 2008 from 24 states--the weights and heights of nearly 12 million children were analyzed. The results showed that 18 states saw a dip in childhood obesity rates, with the highest drops coming in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey and South Dakota. All saw their rates go down more than one percent. Other states showing improvement were California (which had the highest childhood obesity rate in the states studied), Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington. Unfortunately, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee saw their obesity rates go up during the years studied.
Notably absent from the analysis was Texas, which is known to have a serious problem with childhood obesity.