It’s big news. In a country constantly plagued by more bad news about our health, obesity rates for preschoolers have dropped by nearly 50%!. No doubt this will mean healthier futures for many of these young children, as the hardest thing is losing the weight once it’s been gained. Need proof? Just ask these children’s parents and grandparents. Adult Americans remain as overweight as ever, and for women over 60 the rate has gone up.
In pediatrics this success has been hard won. Pediatricians have played a critical role in getting politicians at city, state, and federal levels to address youth obesity as a public health crisis and not just the result of bad parenting. Children who are overweight are 3 to 5 times more likely to be overweight or obese as adults. Additionally, obesity leads to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. While these diseases were once province of aging adults, they are now increasingly common in children.
Officials have not pinpointed a specific reason for this drop in overweight young children, but attribute it broadly to a combination of decreased sugary beverage consumption, day-care centers providing healthier meals, and increased physical activity programs for toddlers. However, for adults who have been struggling with their weight for much of their lives, turning the tide of the epidemic is going to require more than diet and exercise. Many professional health centers offer solutions for obesity ranging from surgery to therapy to trainers. Through consultation, patients can find the right solution for their lifestyle and budget instead of turning to Hollywood gimmicks.
Read more about pediatric obesity and how to prevent it by checking out our pediatric resource guides.