It’s official – the kids of America are getting thinner…and not in a way that’s a cause for concern. According to the latest round of statistics, the obesity rate among US toddlers has plummeted by a gigantic 43% since the same data was collected back in 2004.
For the 2011 to 2012 study year, the obesity rate among youngsters aged between two and five years old was just 8.4% – a huge improvement from the near 14% recorded eight years prior.
Doctors have yet to formally identify what it is that’s led to such a weight drop, but one of the primary candidates is today’s much lower consumption of sugary sodas among younger children. America’s war against childhood obesity has long been seen as one of the nation’s to healthcare priorities, having been linked to a variety of health risks in later life including stroke, heart disease and cancer.
Discussing the promising news with the New York Times, Cynthia Ogden made her optimism clear.
“This is the first time we’ve seen any indication of any significant decrease in any group,” she said, calling the sharp fall in obesity rates “exciting”.
Other possible contributors to the lower obesity rate have been identified, which include largely healthier dietary choices on the part of parents and a higher rate of breastfeeding than at the time of prior studies.
Unfortunately, the overall obesity rate taking into account adults and youths remains unchanged – older generation are getting no slimmer than they were a full decade ago, despite such extensive and ongoing campaigns from health groups.
As it stands, an alarming two thirds of all American adults are overweight and up to a third of children are considered clinically obese or overweight.