3 Reasons Kids Are Not Getting Fatter

Would you believe it's as simple as an increase in breast-feeding and in the nutritional value of foods, and duh, exercise.

But a story today by Cathy Payne and Michelle Healy at usatoday.com points out one more thing.  We've been listening. 

The two write that, in a recent survey of more than 8,000 parents and caretakers of small children, "The percentage of infants still breast-feeding at 6 months increased to 49% in 2010 from 35% in 2000. The percent still breast-feeding at 12 months rose to 27% from 16% in 2000."

That's important because the benefits to breast-fed children have long been known -- a smaller chance of becoming overweight, a better ability to fight disease, even, some say, more smarts.

"One of the things that breast-feeding does, besides the possible chemistry that may affect obesity, is that it teaches babies how to eat right and how to stop eating when they're full, instead of when their mother thinks they're full. So I'm not surprised at all that the report mentioned breast-feeding," Gail Herrine, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Temple University Health System in Philadelphia, told Payne and Healy.

Still, doctors would like to see more babies breast-fed more, and longer.

The second reason the increase in obese children is leveling off, experts say, is because the government's Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is now  promotes whole fruits and vegetables instead of juice, which has more sugar, lower-fat milk and breast-feeding.

This is important children who come from low-income families have some of the highest rates of obesity.

Finally, the CDC credits First Lady Michelle O'Bama with the third reason.  Her Let's Move program has inspired countless kids to get up and move around. 


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