Obesity Spiking Among Preschoolers, Pediatric Study Warns

Scores of readers won't be surprised by this, but it's alarming nonetheless: Kids ages two to five show the highest levels this century

by Melanie Dadourian | Updated 27 Feb 2018 at 5:09 PM

Despite awareness campaigns, American children are still obese.

New federal data published in the journal Pediatrics say there’s been an increase in childhood obesity for kids between the ages of two and five years, from about 9 percent to almost 14 percent.

Asheley Skinner, an associate professor of population health services at Duke University and leader of the analysis, said in an NPR report, “It is a big jump. That’s the highest level of obesity that we’ve seen in two- to five-year-olds since 1999.”

“Obesity in the youngest group is a concern,” she said, “because when obesity starts younger, most of these children continue to have obesity throughout childhood and into adulthood.”

She also said, “The earlier you start seeing this, the harder it is to address it for these kids.”

The new data also mentioned that efforts to help raise awareness from Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign, to the American Academy of Pediatrics' establishing a Section on Obesity in 2013, and several efforts led by states, hospitals and communities, may have had some impact with certain groups.

But more resources are needed to help continue fighting the battle against childhood obesity.

Related: When a Little Baby Fat Is … Too Much

Dr. Sarah Armstrong, who was on Skinner's team, added that despite the amount of money that goes towards research for the last 20 years, "we don't seem to be making a big dent in the situation."

The associate professor of pediatrics at Duke warned, "We need to double down our efforts and find out what's going to work," she said, "or the health of our future generation is really in jeopardy."

This Fox News piece is used by permission.

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