August 6th, 2013
12:01 PM ET
Signs of progress in childhood obesity fight
After decades of warnings about the rapidly rising rate of childhood obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has some good news. A new report from the CDC suggests we've made some progress in the fight against childhood obesity in the nation's youngest children - specifically those from low-income families.
Researchers analyzed data from approximately 12 million children between the ages of 2 and 4 who participate in federally funded nutrition programs. Data from 40 states, Washington, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were included in the Vital Signs report.
Nineteen of the states and the U.S. Virgin Islands saw a small but significant decline in preschoolers' obesity rates between 2008 and 2011, according to the CDC. Three states - Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee - saw a slight increase over the same time period, and the rest remained stagnant. Utah, Wyoming, Louisiana, Texas, Maine, Delaware, Alaska, Oklahoma, Virginia and South Carolina were not included in the report due to inconsistencies or changes in data reporting.
"It's a bright spot for our nation's young kids, but the fight is very far from over," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said.
Children who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are five times more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, Frieden said. This can increase their risk for health problems such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Government initiatives such as the first lady's Let's Move! program have tried to encourage child-care providers to offer outside play opportunities, reduce screen time and serve fresh fruit and vegetables at every meal. They've also tried to eliminate fried foods and sugary drinks from young kids' diets. While the CDC cannot prove that programs like these are making a difference, Frieden said, it's obvious that something has changed.
“Today’s announcement reaffirms my belief that together, we are making a real difference in helping kids across the country get a healthier start to life,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in a statement.
“We could not be more encouraged by the progress we have made, but we have a long, long way to go before we can rest and know the next generation is on a much healthier path," said Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and the White House's senior policy adviser on nutrition. "We will take this moment to double down on our efforts and really see this through.”
Previous smaller studies have shown similar declines in other child populations, Frieden said, but this is the largest national data system that exists. He said the CDC is confident that the declines shown in these 19 states are a sign of a national downward trend.
Obesity rates among low-income preschoolers steadily increased between 1990 and peaked in 2007 at close to 15%. They have since flatlined. This is the first sign of a turning point.
“Obesity is a complex problem, and we know addressing it isn’t going to be quick or simple," Frieden said. “It’s not going to turn on a dime.”
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
This is a topic that is near to my heart... Thank you! Exactly where are your contact details though?
I really love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my very own blog and would love to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Thanks!
Itís nearly impossible to find educated people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you should write more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but usually folks don't talk about such topics. To the next! Many thanks!!
Hello there! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after going through a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly pleased I stumbled upon it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!
You made some decent points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.
I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new things you postÖ
That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate infoÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read post!
I was able to find good info from your content.
I really like reading through a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!
I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own site now 😉
Good blog you have here.. Itís difficult to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!
You need to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality websites on the net. I will highly recommend this site!
When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!
You should take part in a contest for one of the most useful websites on the internet. I am going to recommend this web site!
Everyone loves it when folks get together and share thoughts. Great website, keep it up!
I needed to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you postÖ
Good article! We will be linking to this great post on our site. Keep up the great writing.
Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this website needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!
When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!
Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be useful to read articles from other writers and practice something from their websites.
Iím amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this during my hunt for something relating to this.
Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this site needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!
You made some really good points there. I looked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.
Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.
I like it when folks come together and share opinions. Great site, stick with it!
Saved as a favorite, I love your site!
I used to be able to find good info from your articles.
This is a topic that's close to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?