CDC: Childhood Obesity Epidemic Slowing
The epidemic of obesity among American children appears to be slowing, federal health officials are reporting today.
An analysis of data collected nationally about low-income preschool-aged children ages two to four years old found the prevalence of obesity increased from 12.4 percent in 1998 to 14.5 percent in 2003, but rose only to 14.6 percent in 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. That suggests the obesity epidemic may have hit a plateau, the CDC says.
"These new data provide some encouragement, but remind us of two things -- one, too many young children are obese, and two, we must not become complacent in our efforts to reduce obesity among young children," William Dietz of the CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity said in a statement the agency released along with the new data in today's issue in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The analysis of data collected by the CDC's Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System found that the prevalence of obesity had remained constant or declined since 2003 among half of the states, territories and Indian tribal organizations contributing to the system. American Indians and Alaska Natives are the only ethnic groups with increasing rates between 2003 and 2008, the CDC said.
The findings are consistent with data release last year by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. At that time, experts said the trends were encouraging but that more data was needed to make sure it was not just a fluke.
Experts stress that even if the rates remain constant, they remain so high that the country is still likely to see significant increase in diabetes, heart disease and other health problems associated with being overweight as the nation's children grow older.
July 23, 2009; 12:02 PM ET
Categories: Chronic Conditions , Family Health , General Health , Health Policy , Obesity | Tags: cdc, childhood obesity, childhood type-2 diabetes
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