Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Childhood Obesity Leveling Off

In this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) the CDC reported that childhood obesity among 3-4 year old children in Los Angeles County and New York City has leveled off and even declined a bit. The children studied were receiving public assistance nutritional services under the Women, Infants' and Childrens' (WIC) programs in the two most populous counties in the US. Both jurisdictions undertook programs to educated mothers about proper nutrition and exercise, although New York started earlier. The results are encouraging.

The figure shows the prevalence of obesity among children aged 3-4 years enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, by age in New York City (NYC) and Los Angeles County (LAC) during 2003-2011. From 2005 to 2009, obesity prevalences in NYC continued to decrease, whereas in LAC prevalences among children aged 3 years increased until 2008 and then decreased from 2009 to 2011, and prevalences among children aged 4 years increased until 2009 and then decreased.

          Prevalence of obesity among 3-4 year-olds in LA County and New York City

Ethnicity and obesity

Childhood obesity varies by ethnicity. See the charts below.,

Hispanicstended to have more obesity compared to Blacks, Whites, and Asians. Why this is true is unclear but it is a national trend. Overall, these are encouraging results, suggesting that our increased awareness of diet and obesity, and subsequent educational efforts, may be paying off, at least among low-income citizens.


1 comment:

  1. Good news, indeed. So let's hope the feds don't cut the funding for these important programs for low-income folks. We need to advocate for them. As author of a book on teen weight problems (Weight Loss Confidential), I can say with certainly that the earlier we can address overweight and obesity the better.


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