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Obesity Drops For Toddlers; Remains High For All Others

young family at breakfastObesity among US adults and youth overall remains unchanged – and high – over the last decade but encouraging findings suggest obesity among young children has dropped, according to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study used data from CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from a 2011-2012 survey. Overweight and obesity increases risk for seven cancers, including postmenopausal breast, colorectal and pancreatic.

More than one-third of adults and 17 percent of youth in the United States remain obese, the study found. Youth was categorized as 2- to 19-year-olds. Obesity also increased slightly in women age 60 years and older.

But when the researchers separated out children ages2 to 5, data showed obesity prevalence had dropped from nearly 14 percent in 2003-2004 to just over 8 percent in 2011-2012 – a decline of approximately 40 percent.

The findings are encouraging, note the authors, but overall, obesity remains high and continued efforts to lower rates are needed.


Source: Cynthia L. Ogden, et al. "Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012."JAMA.2014;311(8):806-814. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.732.

Published on March 4, 2014

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