The CDC reported August 7, 2013 declining rates of obesity in our youngest children after literally decades of rising rates.
“Now, for the first time, we’re seeing a significant decrease in childhood obesity nationally”, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director.
The biggest declines were in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Each saw their obesity numbers fall at least 1 percentage point.
Dr James Marks, pediatrician from Robert Woods Foundation for Public Health was surprised that at speed at which the epidemic appears to be turning around. The CDC report shows “the highest-risk children in almost half of the states are getting healthier.” The reason for the decrease is largely related to increased public awareness of the obesity epidemic in childhood, what these children will face in their future and the availability of practical approaches to the problems.
Michelle Obama’s effort to highlight the obesity epidemic and provide practical solutions:
“We know how essential it is to set our youngest children on a path toward a lifetime of healthy eating and physical activity, More than 10,000 child care programs participating in the Let’s Move! Child Care initiative are doing vitally important work on this front.”
It is exciting to see that relatively simple changes in how we feed and encourage our children can make such an significant, immediate change in weight and health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends :
• Get 1 hour of physical activity a day (does not need to be consecutive)
• Limit screen time to less than 2 hours a day
• Limit consumption of sugar sweetened beverages , water not soda, juice or sports drinks
• Eat breakfast daily
• Switch to low-fat dairy products
• Regularly eat family meals together
• Limit fast food, take out, and eating out.
• Prepare foods at home as a family
• Eat a diet rich in calcium
• Eat a high fiber diet
• Breast-feed exclusively until 6 months and maintenance of breast feeding after introduction of solid food until 12 months of age.
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