Success in the Addressing the Obesity Epidemic?
A new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week found that incidents of obesity among children aged 2 to 5 declined by 43 percent over the past decade. While the rate of obesity in children 2 to 5 declined from 14 percent in 2003-04 to 8 percent in 2011-12, the rate among the broader population remained unchanged, with about 17 percent of youth aged 2 to 19 and 35 percent of adults considered obese. The report does not attempt to determine the cause of the decline, but notes that improved nutritional and physical activity standards in preschools over the past few years may have contributed to the decline. Others suggested that a greater reliance on breastfeeding instead of infant formula may also have helped.
The report was welcomed by public health advocates, as obesity rates in children under 5 bear a strong correlation to obesity as an adult. It was also noted that this was the first time since the federal government began tracking such data that there had been a significant decrease in the rate of obesity for any group.