Lifestyle & Belief

Child obesity in low-income families falls modestly, CDC data shows


A new CDC study shows that obesity rates in young children in low-income families have fallen.


John Moore

A new study shows a modest decline in childhood obesity rates among low-income households.

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that obese children declined to 14.9 percent in 2010, down from 15.2 percent in 2003.

The study looked at 27 million children, using data measuring their height and weight along with family income data.

The New York Times said that about 20 percent of poor children are obese in the US in comparison to 12 percent of kids from more affluent families.

The new data is a relief as childhood obesity among poorer families rose sharply in the 1990s.

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Obesity in childhood, researchers said, puts a child's health at serious risk.

“Obesity and extreme obesity in childhood, which are more prevalent among minority and low-income families, have been associated with other cardiovascular risk factors, increased health care costs and premature death,” stated the report, according to Fox News.

“Obesity and extreme obesity during childhood are likely to continue into adulthood."

Researchers are encouraged by the data but note that it is a modest decline.

Reasons for the decrease were not given but greater awareness about diet and health among poorer people could be a factor.

School exercise programs and cafeterias offering healthier food are also likely causes.

The Journal of the American Medical Association study is one of the first to look at child obesity among the very young in low-income families.