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Sandra Fryhofer, MD

Baby Steps In the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

By Sandra Fryhofer, MDPosted August 9, 2013 12:00pm (EDT)
Courtesy, <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/2013/dpk-vs-child-obesity.html#graphics" target="_blank">CDC</a>

Courtesy, CDC


The CDC just released the nation’s latest report card on childhood obesity. For several decades, obesity rates in pre-schoolers rose. Then, from 2003-2008, there seemed to be a plateau. Now, for the first time, many states are seeing small but definite declines in preschooler obesity rates.

We are making progress in Georgia and across the nation. Obesity in preschoolers from low income families has decreased in 19 of 43 states and territories studied. Georgia, along with Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, South Dakota, and the U.S. Virgin Islands had the greatest decreases in preschooler obesity.

Some states were not so successful. In Alabama and North Carolina, obesity rates were unchanged. There were no declines. But at least there were no increases.

Not so for Tennessee. Tennessee was one of 3 states studied where obesity rates in low income preschoolers increased. Colorado and Pennsylvania were the other states in this troubled trio.

One in eight pre-school aged children is still obese. Obese and overweight children are five times more likely to stay that way as adults, compared to kids of normal weight.

Obese adults (and kids) are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugars, and diabetes.

With only 19 states seeing a decline in preschooler obesity, the improvement cup is not quite half full.

But it’s a start.

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