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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Childhood Obesity: Good News and Bad News

First, the good news. According to a recent CDC report, obesity rates among preschoolers from low-income families are not rising as sharply as in years past. Between 1998 and 2003, the percentage of low-income 2- to 4-year-olds who were obese surged from 12.4% to 14.5%--but in 2008, rates increased only slightly.

The CDC credits education. According to Laurence M. Grummer-Strawn, chief of the CDC's Maternal Child Nutrition Branch, "There has been more emphasis on pediatric obesity among low income populations. There have been initiatives to promote breast-feeding, initiatives to use low-fat or skim milk, initiatives to reduce television watching and shaping behaviors toward better nutrition and physical activity."

The bad news is, obesity rates are still increasing among certain minority groups. American Indian and Alaska Native children had the highest obesity rates--21.2%, according to the CDC's report.

We've blogged before about getting healthy for your kids. I think it can be a real source of motivation, and when it comes to the future of our nation's health, instilling good habits early is crucial. What do you think we can do as a nation to make our kids (and their parents) healthier?

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