Childhood obesity rates decrease in 19 US states

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

childhood obesity
Childhood obesity can negatively effect your health and lead to illnesses like diabetes.

Kids spend less time playing outside and more time sitting in front of a computer or TV, drinking soda and popping chips for hours at a time. It’s no surprise, then, that the rate of childhood obesity has gone up. That is, more and more kids are becoming extremely overweight.

In the last 30 years, childhood obesity rates have tripled in America, and about one in three children weighs more than they should. This is bad because obesity has been linked to harmful medical conditions like heart disease, breathing problems, and high blood pressure. To  fight childhood obesity, the US government has been providing schools with healthy, well-balanced meals for many years. They must be doing something right, because according to a new report, the number of overweight children is decreasing!

Researchers from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed data from 12 million children between the ages of 2-4 years old who were in government-funded lunch programs. They crunched the numbers from 2009 to 2011 and found that there was a decrease in the number of obese preschoolers in 19 states! Other states still had the same amount of obese children. Only three states had rates that continued to get bigger. At the very least, even the ones without improvement are not becoming worse!

First Lady Michelle Obama is proud of the report, and she has every right to be. You see, she began a campaign called Let’s Move! in 2009, specifically to fight childhood obesity. When she heard the news, she said, “[This] announcement reaffirms my belief that together, we are making a real difference in helping kids across the country get a healthier start to life.”

Though this news shows that the numbers have gone down over the last three years, there is still a long way to go. Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of the CDC, said, “It’s a bright spot for our nation’s young kids, but the fight is very far from over.”

The CDC recommends that you get at least one hour of exercise a day. It may sound like a lot, but time really does fly when you’re having fun with your friends. Play a round of soccer in the park, shoot some hoops, run a race… anything! Don’t forget to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables too, and please, stay away from those soft drinks!

Featured image courtesy of Lighttruth on Flickr.