According to a new study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the first time in decades, obesity rates among preschoolers are falling in many states. This implicates small but significant declines in obesity among low-income preschoolers, found in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2008 to 2011.
According to the report, 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. However, twenty states and Puerto Rico experienced no significant change, and obesity prevalence increased significantly in three states.
The data is based on real measurements of height and weight of about 11.6 million children from low-income families. The report provides state-specific data on obesity rates among children ages two to four who are enrolled in federal health and nutrition programs, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. State-specific obesity prevalence surveillance helps determine the need for and impact of state and local obesity prevention strategies.
Although obesity remains a problem, this new report demonstrates the collective progression our nation has made in efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The CDC data reveals that any community or state that makes healthy changes can achieve success.
The Women’s Sports Foundation’s award-winning physical activity program and curriculum, GoGirlGo!, is designed to keep girls involved in physical activity, provide tools to get girls active, and to improve the health of sedentary girls. GoGirlGo!, intended to reduce the obesity epidemic that many girls face, is especially important among low-income families who might not have access to sports programs, Learn more about GoGirlGo! here.