US Childhood Obesity Dipping:
Obesity rates among small children may finally be on the decline
after more than tripling in the United States the past 30 years, a new
The study found that obesity rates peaked in 2004
and then declined slightly among low-income children aged two to four
who receive benefits from a federal food stamp program called SNAP.
While other federal food programs, like the free meals offered in
schools, have been revised to focus on healthful eating, federal food stamp program (SNAP) has no
regulations to influence the quality of food purchased.
our knowledge, this is the first national study to show that the
prevalence of obesity and extreme obesity among young US children may
have begun to decline," wrote lead author Liping Pan of the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"The results of this study
indicate modest recent progress of obesity prevention among young
children. These findings may have important health implications because
of the lifelong health risks of obesity and extreme obesity in early
The researchers analyzed data from a pediatric nutrition
surveillance system which monitors almost half of the children eligible
for federally funded maternal and child health and nutrition programs.
were able to access height and weight data from 27.5 million children
aged two to four in the 30 states which consistently reported their
In 1998, obesity levels were at 13.05 percent of the children. This rose
to a peak of 15.36 percent in 2004 before declining to 14.94 percent in