Childhood Obesity Not on the Rise After All

May 29, 2008 10:43 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Despite widespread fears about an obesity epidemic, childhood obesity rates in the United States have stayed the same since 1999, according to a government study.

30-Second Summary

Health officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated the body mass index (BMI) of about 8,000 children and teens in the report, which was published in the latest issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

After 25 years of worsening news about childhood obesity, the study “provides a glimmer of hope,” said David Ludwig, a pediatric endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston. But he warned that it is too early to tell whether the rates will stay at this plateau for a significant period of time.

Consumer activist group The Center for Consumer Freedom welcomed the news, accusing health activists and health officials of using alarmism to justify intrusive regulations by the government. “These findings fly in the face of almost a decade of threats by obesity activists,” the center says on its Web site.

But health experts are still concerned that roughly one-third of children remain classified as overweight, obese or morbidly obese.

“Go to a local school, park out front and observe the kids and you will see that roughly one-third of them are overweight or obese. It’s staggering,” says Dr. Reginald Washington, a pediatric cardiologist at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver.

Headline Link: ‘U.S. childhood obesity rates level off’

Opinion & Analysis: Threats of childhood obesity fall flat

Related Topic: ‘Schools can’t afford healthy lunches’

Reference: Adult obesity, CDC, JAMA


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