Flickr / Let's Move!

Obesity In Children 2-5 Years Old Down 43 Percent Since '04

A CDC report says the rate of obesity in preschool-aged children dropped by nearly half over the past decade.

By Laura Heck | February 25, 2014

The CDC has an excellent present for Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign during the program's fourth anniversary: a new report that says childhood obesity is declining for younger kids — by a lot. 

The New York Times calls the decline "stunning," and here's why: for children ages 2 to 5, the rate of obesity has dropped from 14 percent in 2004 to about 8 percent in 2012. That's a drop of 43 percent in childhood obesity.

This is important because children between ages 3 and 5 are five times more likely to be overweight than adults. Still, one in three children of all ages are considered overweight. (Via CNN)

And for other age groups, the results of the study aren't necessarily as encouraging. 

The study showed obesity in children from 6 to 11 years old dropped slightly, from 18.8 to 17.7 percent. And overall, the rate in children up to 19 years old actually rose very slightly. During the same time, obesity in adults decreased almost 3 percentage points. (Via CDC)

So, basically the good news of this report doesn't outweigh the lasting concern. David Ludwig of Boston Children's Hospital told USA Today this generation of children could be the first ever to live shorter lives than their parents. 

The study gave some of the possible reasons for the decline in young children — that they are drinking less soda and sugary drinks, mothers are breastfeeding more and the recent focus on nutritional education programs. Which, of course, brings us back to the First Lady. 

Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign is focused on teaching kids the important of physical activity and proper nutrition. She's worked with celebrities like Elmo, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon and even Beyonce and has tried to bring focus to nutrition policy, especially in schools. (Via The White House, Youtube / WBLSFM1075)

On the same day the study was released, the FLOTUS announced she will be working to remove all junk food and sugary drinks from schools beginning this fall. (Via NBC)

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