Rise in breast-feeding, health awareness cited as obesity falls among preschoolers
NEW YORK — The trend of rising obesity rates in the past decade may be reversing among preschoolers, according to the first national study to report a decline in the condition among young children.
The research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of obese 2- to 4-year-olds from low-income families dropped 1.8 percent from 2003 to 2010, while those who were extremely obese fell 6.8 percent. The findings were published on Tuesday in a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers attributed the decline to greater awareness of health problems caused by obesity as well as an increase in breast-feeding, which research has shown can reduce the risk. Obesity even at such a young age can set up children for diabetes, heart disease and premature death, said Heidi Blanck, a study author.
“We've flipped from going up to really now showing a decrease,” said Blanck, acting director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the CDC. “It's a modest decrease, but at least we've changed the direction.”
Earlier studies showed that obesity levels may have reached a plateau in various age groups.
Researchers used data from the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, which includes about 50 percent of children eligible for U.S.-funded maternal and child health and nutrition programs. The study included 27.5 million 2- to 4-year-olds from 30 states and the District of Columbia.
The prevalence of obesity dropped to 14.94 percent in 2010 from 15.21 percent in 2003, according to the report. It was still higher than 13.05 percent in 1998. While the percentage of preschoolers with extreme obesity declined to 2.07 percent in 2010 from 2.22 percent in 2003, it was still higher than 1.75 percent in 1998.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Piece of plant found on island on way to France for analysis
- Feds eye use of federal dollars for ads for for-profit colleges
- Fetal parts in Planned Parenthood lab shown in 4th video
- Highway bill on Obama’s desk extends funding 3 months
- VA whistle-blowers aghast
- Defense chief approves arming more troops at soft sites
- Geological gem The Wave on Arizona-Utah border draws worldwide visitors
- McClatchy: Emails on Clinton’s private server contain Benghazi information
- Minn. dentist laying low in slaying of lion
- Protesters ousted in bid to block Shell icebreaker on Portland river
- OSU band song mocked Holocaust victims