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Obesity Among Preschool Aged Children
Transcript of Obesity Among Preschool Aged Children
Vital Signs: Obesity Among Low-Income, Preschool-Aged Children-United States, 2008-2011
The prevalence of obesity among U.S. preschools has doubled in recent decades. Childhood obesity increases the risk for adult obesity and is associated with negative health consequences.
During 2008–2011, statistically significant downward trends in obesity prevalence were observed in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, South Dakota, and the U.S. Virgin Islands had the largest absolute decreases in obesity prevalence, each with a decrease of ≥1 percentage point. Twenty states and Puerto Rico experienced no significant change, and obesity prevalence increased significantly in three states.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Monitoring state specific obesity prevalence surveillance helps determine the need for and impact of state and local obesity prevention strategies.
Approximately 11.6 million low-income children aged 2–4 years measured weight and height data in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories who participated in the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSS) during 2008–2011 were used to estimate state obesity prevalence.
Obesity was defined according to the CDC as having an age- and sex-specific body mass index ≥95th percentile
The specific factors that might have contributed to the differential changes in obesity prevalence by state could not be readily identified. Although states likely differ by cultural and other factors that affect diet, activity, and weight as well as the implementation of policy and environmental interventions used to improve nutrition and physical activity.
The finding in this report are subject to at least three limitations. First, PedNSS is limited to low-income children who participated in federal nutrition program which may not reflect ALL low-income U.S. preschool children. Secondly, the study only included 43 states/territories that consistently collected PedNSS data during 2008-2011. Thirdly, in 2008 the number of children in PedNSS was higher in subsequent years, which could have been caused by the economic downturn that might have led to previously ineligible families becoming eligible for nutrition programs.
Small decreases in the prevalence of obesity among low-income preschool children have been observed in certain states/territories. To continue prevention efforts remain necessary to ensure that downward trend continues.
Question & Concerns
What have I learned?
I learned that obesity rates are high among preschool children in the United States. Approximately one child in eight age 2-5 is obese.
To continue the downward trend in obesity, continued community wide action is needed.