Health & Human Services

Childhood Obesity Rates Falling for 1st Time in Decades

Small but significant declines in obesity among low-income preschoolers were found in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2008 to 2011, CDC director Thomas Frieden said at a press telebriefing. "This is the first report to show many states with declining rates of obesity in our youngest children after literally decades of rising rates."
August 7, 2013
 

Obesity rates among preschoolers are falling in many states for the first time in decades, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

Small but significant declines in obesity among low-income preschoolers were found in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2008 to 2011, CDC director Thomas Frieden said at a press telebriefing. "This is the first report to show many states with declining rates of obesity in our youngest children after literally decades of rising rates."

The numbers are published in the CDC's latest Vital Signs report. It includes obesity rates from 40 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories. The CDC excluded 10 states because some had changed how they collected data.

Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, South Dakota and the U.S. Virgin Islands had the largest absolute decreases in prevalence of obesity, with a drop of at least 1 percentage point, the report says. Obesity rates held steady in 20 states and Puerto Rico. They rose in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

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