A new federal health survey reveals that the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children dropped 43% in the last decade.
The figures “offer the first clear evidence that America’s youngest children have turned a corner in the obesity epidemic,” reports The New York Times. “About 8% of 2- to 5-year-olds were obese in 2012, down from 14 percent in 2004.”
While this news is promising for very young children, the figures for the broader society have “remained flat, and … even increased for women over 60.”
Some possible factors that have contributed to the decline include a decrease in sugar consumption from sugary beverages, an increase in breast feeding, and a drop in overall calories for children.
“Another possible explanation is that some combination of state, local and federal policies aimed at reducing obesity is starting to make a difference.”
“2- to 5-year-olds are perhaps the most significant age group, as it is in those years that obesity … gets established and is later very difficult to shake.”
But James Hamblin cautions not to be be lulled into complacency: “Consider that the actual conclusion of the study is that 17 percent of kids and more than one third of adults in the U.S. remain obese, and the final line of the study says:
“Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults.”Save to Favorites