According to health officials, a new report released by the government has become the first evidence to show that there is decline in child obesity nationwide in USA. According to the report, 18 states had slight decline in child obesity among the preschoolers from low-income families. This is a significant change from previous statistics which showed that the rates of obesity nationwide had been rising for decades and became flat recently, though some areas such as the state of Mississippi, New York and Philadelphia had reported improvements. The report from the Center and Disease Control Prevention indicates signs of improvement in the rates of child obesity.
However, according to the report, 1 out of 8 preschoolers are still obese in USA and this is even more common among the Hispanic and black kids and according to statistics, preschoolers who are obese or overweight have are five 5 times more likely to be heavy adults than other children. This means that they are at a greater risk of having asthma, high blood sugar, mental health problems and high cholesterol problems.
The data from this report came from the height and weight measurement of about 12 million children from low- income families in 40 states with their ages raging from 2-4. However, data of more affluent preschoolers was not included as it was harder to get. According to the report, the greatest decline in child obesity was observed in Missouri, New Jersey, Georgia, Florida and South Dakota. The child obesity numbers of all these areas dropped by at least 1%. However, despite the improvements, the child obesity numbers are still a bit disappointing. Of all the states, Hawaii had the best obesity number with the 9% of preschoolers from low-income families estimated to obese. California had the highest obesity number at 17%.
18 of the 40 states that were included in the statistics had a slight improvement in their obesity numbers while 19 states did not show any significant change. Three states that took part showed a rise in the child obesity. These were; Tennessee, Colorado and Pennsylvania. These results are very different compared to the last study that was carried out by the Centre for Disease and control prevention. From the year 2003 – 2008, only 9 states showed significant decline in child obesity while 24 states showed an increase. This report is therefore a sign that there has been great progress.
However, the report did not have any explanation as to why some states improved their child obesity numbers while other states declined or held steady. Centre for Disease and Control Prevention officials however suggested that the Federal Infants, Women and Children Program may have played a major role in helping reduce child obesity. The program instituted changes in 2009 where juice was removed from the food packages for infants, less saturated fat was provided and also made it easier for vegetables and fruits to be bought. Another factor that played a role in the decline of child obesity is the increased breast-feeding rates as kids who breast fed were less prone to obesity.