A national study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that obesity is declining among 2 to 4 year olds from low income families. If this trend continues then parents and health advocates like myself are doing the right thing and childhood obesity has finally passed its peak.
Researchers used height and weight measurements taken from 27 million children who were participating in the federal Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) from 1998 to 2010. The obesity rates among those children declined to 14.9 percent in 2010.
According to the report a 3-year-old-boy of average height (about 3 feet), is obese if he weighs 37 pounds or more and and extremely obese if he weighs 44 pounds or more.
“The declines we’re presenting here are pretty modest, but it is a change in direction,” said Heidi M. Blanck, one of the study’s authors and the acting director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the disease centers. “We were going up before. And this data shows we’re going down. For us, that’s pretty exciting.”
There are several different theories as to why childhood obesity is on the decline. Breast feeding has increased since 2000. Breast milk is the best nutrition for infants 12 months and under and is proven to help children obtain a healthier weight. The Federal Trade Commission found that companies are spending less money on food marketing to children, which may also have a positive impact on childhood obesity rates. Data from 48 major food and beverage marketers also found that cereals marketed to children ages 2 to 11 had about a gram less sugar per serving in 2009 than in 2006 and slightly more whole grain. The WIC program also made significant changes and is providing more funding for fresh produce and less for sugary juice beverages.
I am hopeful that we are winning this fight against childhood obesity in the United States. Federal programs like, Let’s Move and WIC are doing an excellent job educating families on the importance of feeding their children healthy and nutritious foods. The food and beverage industry is offering healthier products with less sugar. Educational materials including books, websites, social media, and PSA are more readily available to families of all income levels. Our society needs to make these changes permanent. The future of our children depends on it.
Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger, publisher, freelance writer, online merchant and mother of five children, living in The Pacific Northwest. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms and features several health expert writers and mom bloggers. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.
Ms. Talbert is a featured health blogger at Wellsphere.com and her articles can also be found on ezinearticles.com. She also runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the Chief Marketing Officer for Talbert Nutrition LLC, and is on the Social Media Advisory Board for America’s Wellness Challenge. Follow her on Google+.
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