Kids Getting Thinner? No, Just Not Fatter

I hate to say it. You couldn't prove it by me. But the CDC says childhood obesity is dropping and they have the study to prove it.

But in 18 states, there were at least slight drops in obesity for low-income preschoolers, health officials said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

But the news may not be quite as good as it sounds.  Basically, what the CDC found that obesity rates are staying flat, just not increasing.  "However, a few places — Philadelphia, New York City and Mississippi — reported improvements in the last couple of years. But the report from the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention shows signs of wider-ranging progress," the AP reports.

"Now, for the first time, we're seeing a significant decrease in childhood obesity" nationally, Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, told the AP.

But rates are still too high, he added. One in 8 preschoolers is obese in the United States, and it's even more common in black and Hispanic kids, the story notes."It's not like we're out of the woods," he said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Preschoolers who are overweight or obese are five times more likely than other children to be heavy as adults, which means greater risks of high cholesterol, high blood sugar, asthma and even mental health problems.

"These signs of progress tell a clear story: we can reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. It isn't some kind of unstoppable force," Dr. James S. Marks, senior vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy that supports programs to tackle obesity, said in a statement.

Still, we're nowhere near solving the problem.  Hawaii was the best, with about 9 percent of low-income preschoolers estimated to be obese in 2011. Even with some progress, California was worst, at nearly 17 percent. The other states were all in between.

The good news is the big change since 2003 to 2008, the last time the survey was done.  Back then, increases in preschool obesity were seen in 24 states.


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