A decrease in childhood obesity mean healthier trends.
According to a new study in the journal of the American Medical Association, childhood obesity rates have dropped for those aged two to five by 43 percent. The study also reported there was only a decline of 8.4 percent in 2011 and 2012.
One focus of the study assessed how the risk of childhood obesity is firmly established by the age of five. It discusses how baby fat surrounding the stomach, legs and face could indicate a lifetime of health risks and social stigmas.
This study has been released at a time when one out of eight children aged 2-5 are estimated to be overweight, according to the Center for Disease Control. Higher rates of obesity are found in children of African-American and Hispanic descent.
In the study, researches worked with 7,700 children who began kindergarten in 1998 and turned 14 in 2007. During that period, researchers recorded the child's height and weight seven times. When the study began "12.4 percent of the children were obese, and another 14.9 percent were overweight."
From there, the children were then separated into classes based on "sex, socioeconomic status, race or ethnic group, birth weight and kindergarten weight."
Reports indicate by the age of 14, "20.8 percent of children were obese and 17 percent were overweight". Half of the percentages came from children who were obese when the study began. The study shows that the sharpest rise in rates of obesity occurred between first and third grade.
Decreasing Obesity in Children
This study shows that childhood obesity is decreasing but here are some suggestions to fight the threat:
- Practice What You Preach- Tell your children you love a well-balanced diet and show them by eating a variety of nutritious foods.
- Get Active - Plan family activities that are centered on moving the body and burning calories. Take a walk in the park, a swim in the pool or a bike ride around the beach.
- Educate - Show your children what is appropriate when it comes to food and talk with them about healthy portion sizes.
A child's diet begins as soon as he or she is born. By developing habits of early nutrition, children can maintain them later in life and avoid the consequences of bad health. While the statistics of childhood obesity are decreasing, it's up to you to keep them that way.