America's youngest citizens have something to be proud of.
New data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that obesity rates from children ages 2-5 are down 43% over the past 10 years. The CDC also reports that obesity rates for young children on federal nutrition plans are down too. Both decreases are the first in their categories in decades.
“We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping,” CDC director Tom Frieden said. “This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children aged 2 to 4 years participating in federal nutrition programs.”
The CDC does not pin down the exact reasons for the drop in obesity rates. However, they do note that childcare centers and elementary schools have placed more focus on physical activity and nutrition over the past decade as information about America’s obesity epidemic has spread.
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Frieden said the news “confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.”
Not surprisingly, the CDC data also shows a drop in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in recent years.
First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement on the data in which she praised the progress made by America’s youth.
“I am thrilled at the progress we’ve made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans,” she said, adding that “healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm” in children.
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While the news is good for children, the rest of us still have work to do. The CDC’s numbers, which were published in the Journal of American Medical Association, show that obesity rates remain unchanged for the broader population.
Keep it up, young ones.