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Health Food / Source: Wikimedia Commons and National Institutes of Health

Childhood Obesity Declining

Biloine W. Young • Mon, January 15th, 2018

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It is time for some good news.

Researchers have reported that the prevalence of severe obesity among young, low-income children is on the decline.

Moreover, according to Kristen Ionaco, staff writer for MedPage Today, the rate has been steadily declining since 2004.

Liping Pan, M.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, and colleagues. report that among children 2 to 4 years of age enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program, the prevalence of severe obesity decreased from 2.12% in 2010 down to 1.96% in 2014.

Severe obesity in childhood can put youth at a higher risk for many chronic health conditions, Pan said. "Children who are obese have more risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance or high cholesterol than their normal weight peers.”

“Childhood obesity disproportionately affects children living in low-income families. However, no recent trends in severe obesity in this population have been reported," said Pan.

The study included information on 23 million low-income, U.S. children who were enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. Enrolled individuals could have gross household income no greater than 185% of the U.S. poverty level.

Researchers used the CDC definition of severe obesity in the study, which was considered a sex-specific BMI (body mass index) for age of 120% of the 95th percentile or greater on the 2000 CDC growth charts. Class II severe obesity was defined as a BMI of 140% or greater of the 95th percentile. There were more girls experiencing severe obesity in the study than there were boys. This continued throughout the entire study period.

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