Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Community News Network

February 26, 2014

Six reasons childhood obesity has fallen so much

— A major new paper appearing in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that childhood obesity - age 2 to 5 - has fallen from 13.9 percent in 2003-04 to 8.4 percent in 2011-12. This age was the only group to see a significant decline, but it's generating headlines because it raises hopes that these children will remain at healthy weights as they get older. It won't surprise anyone to say that the nation's obesity epidemic poses a major public health problem.

The new paper, by Centers for Disease Control researcher Cynthia Ogden and co-authors, doesn't say why childhood obesity is declining. But the paper and several other studies that it cites suggest a number of theories:

1. Nutrition assistance such as food stamps and WIC (women, infants and children) may have led to decreases in childhood obesity among low-income Americans as federal standards have changed to promote healthier eating. For example, WIC has revised its funding formula to boost the amount of fruits and vegetables and peanut butter a mother and her child eat. At the time, WIC has limited the amount of (non-breast) milk that a child drinks, to limit fat intake.

2. New federal nutritional guidelines have trickled down to state and local programs, such as encouraging increased consumption of water and 100 percent fruit juice, limiting serving sizes, encouraging a single adult not to feed more than one infant at a time, and limiting time in front of the television.

3. As the value of breastfeeding has been increasingly understood, there's been a substantial increase in babies drinking breastmilk. One study showed that 70.3 percent of children breastfed in 2000, rising to 74.6 percent in 2008.

4. Pregnant women have increasingly understood the risks of smoking during pregnancy, with a study showing the percentage of women doing so declining from 13.3 percent in 2000 to 12.3 percent in 2010.

5. Food companies, under pressure, have limited television advertisements targeting children. Between 2003 and 2007, the daily exposure of a child, age 2 to 5, to food ads fell by 13.7 percent.

6. A number of national initiatives have promoted healthy eating among children, such as first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative and reports from a wide range of groups such as the American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics.



 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 21, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014