The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

February 26, 2014

U.S. obesity rates fall for children, rise for adults

WASHINGTON — While adults and older children continue to struggle with obesity, America’s 2- to 5-year-olds appear to be slimming down.

The prevalence of obesity among children in the preschool set has fallen from nearly 14 percent in 2003 and 2004 to 8.4 percent in 2011 and 2012. That’s a 43 percent decline, according to new survey data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I was kind of excited to see this decrease in the young children and this potential for good news in the story,” said Cynthia L. Ogden, a Maryland-based CDC epidemiologist and branch chief for the survey.

Much of the decline among young children ages 2-5 occurred over the final two years of the study, as their obesity rates fell roughly 33 percent - from just over 12 percent in 2009-2010 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012.

But one in three U.S. adults — 33 percent — and one in six, or 17 percent, of all young people ages 2-19 are still considered obese, according to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which appears in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In fact, obesity rates for older adults increased from 31 percent in 2003-2004 to 35.4 percent in 2011-2012. Women age 60 and older fueled the increase, with obesity rates jumping from 31.5 percent in 2003-2004 to 38.1 percent in 2011-2012, the survey found.

The authors concluded that “obesity prevalence remains high and thus it is important to continue surveillance.”

Overweight people are at higher risk to develop a number of chronic diseases compared with people whose weight is normal. Obesity is linked to numerous health problems, including premature death, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoarthritis and gall bladder disease.

In recent years, schools, restaurants, food and beverage manufacturers and medical caregivers have paid greater attention to the health threat posed by obesity and have tried to combat the problem through public awareness campaigns.

But what is behind the falling obesity rates for toddlers is unclear. The CDC said it could reflect efforts by child care centers to improve nutrition and physical activity standards, as well as a decline in consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and other beverages.

Increased breastfeeding rates also could be helping, since the activity helps stave off obesity in breastfed children, the CDC reported.

Obesity prevention programs in cities such as Anchorage, Alaska; Philadelphia and New York City, as well as King County in the Seattle area, could also be playing a role.

First lady Michelle Obama, whose “Let’s Move!” program works to increase physical activity among America’s youngsters, hailed the survey’s latest findings.

“I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans,” Obama said in a statement. “With the participation of kids, parents and communities in ’Let’s Move!’ these last four years, healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm.”

On Tuesday, the first lady proposed a ban on the marketing of junk food and sodas in schools. Jeffrey Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, a nonpartisan public health advocacy group, said the proposal would go a long way toward keeping America’s youngsters slim.

“The best strategy to lower obesity rates is to help our children establish healthier habits while they are young, including good nutrition and increased activity,” Levi said in a statement. “By limiting the marketing of junk food in schools, we can help even out that equation.”

CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden was also optimistic.

“We continue to see signs that for some children in this country, the scales are tipping,” he said. “This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children — ages 2-4 — participating in federal nutrition programs. This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.”

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Study finds 35 percent in U.S. facing debt collectors

    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

    July 30, 2014

  • U.S. blasts Israel for Kerry criticism

    The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a “misinformation campaign” against the top American diplomat.

    July 29, 2014

  • Outlook on Medicare finances improves

    Medicare’s finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year’s estimate.

    July 29, 2014

  • Plan to simplify 2015 health renewals may backfire

    If you have health insurance on your job, you probably don’t give much thought to each year’s renewal. But make the same assumption in one of the new health law plans, and it could lead to costly surprises.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hospital shooting suspect charged with murder

    A man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex before the doctor returned fire has been charged with murder.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man seeks video of Oklahoma City bombing

    One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

    July 28, 2014

  • Bill in Congress to help veterans with PTSD

    A group of lawmakers have joined together to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Post Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI) and other war injuries get speedy medical treatment — and avoid Veteran’s Administration bureaucracy and Department of Defense lack of accountability.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists also has crossed the border.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S. says Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.

    July 25, 2014

  • Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

     Israel-Hamas fighting looked headed for escalation after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed Friday to broker a weeklong truce as a first step toward a broader deal and Israel’s defense minister warned Israel might soon expand its Gaza ground operation “significantly.”

    July 25, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video