Obesity rate drops 43 percent in young US children

While many Americans struggle with extra weight, the obesity rate among US preschoolers has dropped by nearly half in recent years, according to figures out Tuesday.

Just eight percent of children aged two to five were obese in 2011-2012, down from 14 percent in 2003-2004, according to findings from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping," said the CDC's Tom Frieden.

He highlighted that the study comes on the heels of previously-released CDC data showing a "significant decline" in among low-income children aged two to four participating in federal nutrition programs.

"This confirms that, at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the ," he added.

The exact reasons for the drop are unclear. However, many childcare centers have recently started boosting their nutritional and physical activity standards, the CDC said in a statement.

Other possible reasons, it added, could be higher breastfeeding rates and a decline in the consumption of sugary drinks.

First Lady Michelle Obama—whose "Let's Move" campaign is aimed at tackling —welcomed the new numbers.

"I am thrilled at the progress we've made over the last few years in among our youngest Americans," she said.

"With the participation of kids, parents, and communities in Let's Move! these last four years, healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm."

Overall, however, the prevalence of obesity remains high in the United States and, for the first time in two decades, the White House is expected to unveil updated nutrition labeling on Thursday.

The CDC study also found that about a third of adults and 17 percent of children and teenagers were obese in 2011-2012, representing no significant changes.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Childhood obesity rates drop slightly, CDC says (Update)

Aug 06, 2013

(HealthDay)—There was a small but sure sign Tuesday that the fight against childhood obesity may yet be won: A new government report found that obesity rates among low-income preschoolers had declined slightly ...

Recommended for you

Abdominal obesity ups risk of hip fracture

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Abdominal obesity is associated with increased risk of hip fracture, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Does traffic noise increase the risk of obesity?

10 hours ago

There is an association between road traffic noise and the risk of obesity among people who are particularly sensitive to noise, according to a study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Impact of a supermarket on children's diets

Feb 26, 2015

Locating full-service supermarkets within neighborhoods considered to be "food deserts" may not result in healthful dietary habits or reductions in childhood obesity—at least in the short term, according to a new study ...

Seeking solutions for the impact of obesity stigma

Feb 26, 2015

Arizona State University medical anthropologist and President's Professor Alexandra Brewis Slade says that even as more and more Americans find themselves carrying extra weight, the stigma attached to being ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.