There is finally some good news on the fight against obesity in children. The rate of abdominal obesity has leveled off. While health experts are happy about the news, the instances of childhood obesity remain too high. Using a waist to height ratio, 33 percent of children aged six to eighteen were found to be obese.
Researchers from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota examined over 17,000 children from a health a nutrition study. What they found is that the rate of obesity has remained static from 2003 to 2012. Rates in a 2003-2004 study were similar to a 2011-2012 study.
Obviously the rates of childhood obesity are still high, as research shows that obese children are more at risk to being obese adults. Obesity ranks number one as the cause of preventable deaths. The importance of the number leveling off cannot be overstated. Now the goal has to be a reversal of the trend. The rates have to come down.
Talking to Reuters, Ashley Cockrell Skinner spoke about the study, and the still troubling signs of severe obesity continuing. “Number one, it’s good, the prevalence of abdominal obesity remained the same over the last eight years, that’s good, but the prevalence is still high, so we need to think about what to do to lower the numbers. Recent publications tell us that overweight and obesity in general are leveling off, but the more severe forms of obesity are increasing.”
Lead study author Lyn M. Steifen said essentially the same. The rates leveling off are good, but the instances of childhood obesity remain too high.
It seems that the country is becoming more in tune with healthy eating choices. Now is the time for a bigger push to get kids and adults eating healthier and more active.
The study from the University of Minnesota can be found in the journal Pediatrics.