Skip Nav
43 Bangin' (and Beautiful) Tattoos
These Seasonal Flowers For a Fall Wedding Will Take Your Breath Away
Bibliophiles Only: 19 Tiny Tattoos Inspired by Books

New Study On Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity Tipped Top of Scale — Are We Winning?

A new survey out today shows that childhood obesity, after rising for more than two decades, appears to have hit a plateau. The data gathered from 1999 to 2006 by the federal Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is being greeted carefully.

It is not yet clear if the pause in kids' weight gain is permanent or even if the small success is the result of public antiobesity efforts to limit junk food and increase physical activity in schools. Even if the trend holds up, 32 percent of American schoolchildren are overweight or obese

The director of the childhood obesity program at Children’s Hospital in Boston says, “After 25 years of extraordinarily bad news about childhood obesity, this study provides a glimmer of hope. But it’s much too soon to know whether this is a true plateau in prevalence or just a temporary lull.”

In the study, the number of children who fall into the obese category decreased from 17.1 percent to 15.5 percent between the 2003 and 2006 surveys — though the decline is not statistically significant.

Are state programs, like the one in Arkansas, to eliminate vending machines in elementary schools, and adding a half hour of daily physical activity to the school curriculum — or the one in Somerville, MA, that included doubling the amount of fruit served for school lunch, painting crosswalks to encourage walks to school, and increasing physical activity in after-school programs the cause of this trend? Has education and outreach worked? Are we winning the childhood battle of the bulge?


Join The Conversation
Imabeliever Imabeliever 8 years
Its not nearly enough. There nneds to e more done. It is outrageous actually.. what is the 854 million people worldwide are undernourished. And yet American children are in danger of exploding from gluttony. Their spolied widening asses are staying indoors playing Nintendo, blogging (I'm guilty too) and watching cartoons while stuffing their faces with junk food and getting three plates full of food at the local Home Town or China Buffet. Makes me think of South Park. "No, Starvin' Marvin, that's Kenny's cream corn! No Starvin' Marvin! That's a bad Starvin' Marvin!" I mean seriously.. does anyone think about all of the starving people in the world when they walk down the aisle of a grocery store and see 35 different brands of sliced bread for crying out loud? The amount of things we take for granted in this country is astounding. and subjecting your sweet innocent child to kidney stones, bones deficient in vitamin D to the point of fractures for just walking, diabetes, heart damage and cancer due to the processed crap you are purchasing for them like a drug pusher. INSANE!
hkmarks hkmarks 9 years
My cousin, now 16, was overweight as a kid. She probably couldn't have handled much cardio when she was about 9, but she still had some energy. She came to visit us once, and we got her to shovel the driveway (for a dollar), and my mom showed her how to lift weights. Not long after that, she got involved in wrestling and now she's quite thin and healthy. I wasn't overweight at that age, but couldn't handle sustained aerobics because I was asthmatic. I had lousy coordination and couldn't handle anything to do with a ball. This left me with the impression that I was unathletic and always would be. But I could handle low-intensity exercise, strength-building, flexibility, or short bursts of aerobic exercise. I can walk or do physical work for hours at a time. Kids have different strengths that can be nurtured. Of course a fat kid can't run laps, but can they lift weights? If they're continually failing at something, they'll just think it's not for them. Build alternatives into the system. Help kids set their own goals and work toward them. Involve them in the process; It's not like the kids want to be fat. But "get thin" isn't an achievable goal for a kid. "Eat salad every day" or "do 20 pushups" is.
Geisha-Runner Geisha-Runner 9 years
I'm glad there is a glimmer of change! Or lack of change as the case might be. Lol. I do think schools AND parents need to team up and realize this huge (no pun intended) problem! Schools need to offer "special programs" for those kids who are overweight. Because we all know how peer pressure in gym class goes! I think there should be an "overweight gym class" but not have it be publicly labeled as such. That way you can help those kids the way they need it! And not measure them up to Bobby Athlete who's never had a weight/exercise problem. Parents also need to take control over what their kids eat! When I go shopping, I see moms who have 3 kids going shopping with them and she is letting them put whatever they want in the cart! Um ... bad idea! They don't need all that processed food and sugar! Ok, they are kids ... they want it. But they don't need 5 sugar snacks with their lunches!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I was in target yesterday shopping, there was an obese parent and her obese daughter (looked around 11-12) the kid was walking around the store eating from her very own personal gigantic doritos bag and by the looks of it, she was 3/4 the way through....oh but i am sure she was "hongry" and mom didnt want to deprive poor little porky of a mid afternoon "snack" Kids are fatter because parents have given control over to thier kids, or they themselves have no idea what nutrition means. That coupled with lack of exercise and motivation.
mjane79 mjane79 9 years
I wonder why so many kids I see today are overweight and obese. Even kids of friends of mine. I think back to when I was a kid, and I'm only 29, and it was a rarity, not the norm, for a kid in school to be overweight. There were a few kids in my class that you could call overweight but I can't think of any that you would call obese. Even looking at old elementary yearbooks I don't see them. I wonder what has changed so much since then to cause the rise. Is it the food people eat? Not getting out and being active? (When I was a kid I walked or biked everywhere around the neighborhood to get to friend's houses.) When I was a kid, a friend had a computer and we had an Atari. When Nintendo came out, another friend had one. We played those and watched cartoons so I don't really think all those cause's an odd thing.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 9 years
Those kids are adorable. I laughed out loud at the expressions on their faces. :)
flutterpie flutterpie 9 years
until all the schools remove vending machines, until all the schools have real physical education classes, and until all the schools have recess, we will have a long way to go.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I think more and more research is going to come out that shows that processed foods are at the root of this. We don't even know what we're eating anymore.
juju4 juju4 9 years
My husband and I are planning to have children in the near future, and we've really been thinking about what kinds of role models we will be for our children. I think they learn a lot by example, and if the parents eat lots of fruits and veggies and get regular exercise, it will just seem normal to the kids.
serenavallentine serenavallentine 9 years
childhood obesity disgusts me. now, before you judge me for that comment--i mean that it disgusts me that PARENTS let their children get that way. i feel bad for the children..they don't know any better! the only reason why a child should be obese is if they have a medical condition. otherwise i really just believe that it's laziness or lack of intelligence of the parents. i know a lot of the adult population is obese, so that is even more of a reason to stop our children from becoming that way. when i was a kid, my mother was 100+lbs overweight and we didn't have a lot of money.. but she still managed to feed me and my brother properly, limit our junk food/fast food, signed us up for whatever free sports or camps were offered and sent us outside to play all the time. i can tell you one thing, when my husband and i have kids not only are we going to feed them properly (and set the example of eating well ourselves and NOT talking about our weight/body issues), but we are going to limit video/computer games and television.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
Another thing my parents did when we would watch tv together would be to give us fruit instead of junk food. They would slice apples, wash up a huge bowl of grapes or cherries. We ate popcorn, chips, and cookies, but we ate in moderation. They would give my brother and I a serving and put the bag away.We could never eat our way through an entire bag of chips.
liliblu liliblu 9 years
My parents shared the cooking duties. We always had dinner together. Eating out was a treat. Going to McDonald's, Wendy's, Buger King, or KFC was something we did a couple of times a month. Now there are children who eat at these places every day. Fast food is one of the biggest reasons kids are over weight. Lack of physical activity is another. Have any of you noticed that kids don't run that much anymore. I remember racing with my friends to the playground, to school, and back home. We never had chicken with the skin. My grandmother (mom's mom) couldn't eat it for health reasons. So,she stopped cooking it that way for the family. My mom continued it and my dad prefered it that way. The first time I bit into chicken fried with skin, I said yuck what is this. I still don't eat chicken out, to this day.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
LOL! Thanks I'm glad I could bring a chuckle to everyones afternoon. You know cine and I were chatting earlier about those dehydrated snap peas, my friend calls them green cheetos. They are so yummy. Parents need to look out side the box to alternatives like these.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
LOL jennifer I was raised like you were. My Mom made dinner every night of the week, meat, starch veggie. We never had soda in the house unless we were having guests over which was rare. My husband on the other hand grew up on crap because his mother didn't cook - not that she didn't know how she just didn't want to.. plus she has her own issues with foods (very picky) and so therefore so is he now. But I work very hard at making sure the family eats healthy, doesn't mean we don't splurge now and then but as a general rule we eat very healthy. When the children's friends come over to the house they're constantly making comments about all the healthy food we have, and how their Moms have all junk food in the house (which I'm sure isn't always true but you know kids lol)... and when we do have something "junky" in the house the children's friends are always so shocked lol... they're like Mrs. N! You have cake??? LOL it's funny.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
It wasn't until High School when I realized I was gay and had to look fabulous at all times that I went out for sports and became very active. :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: And, Yesteryear - I'm in. :pimp: I think it's good news and really do think we're turning a corner. We have a ways to go, but there's nothing wrong with celebrating positive news. My parents were actually the opposite of these "problem parents". Honey nut cheerios were a huge treat in my house. No one EVER wanted to trade anything with me at lunchtime. :irk: My husband was raised the same way and we've tried to go the route of moderation and helping our kids to make informed choices rather than just keeping them to a severely limited menu. So far, so good. :fingerscrossed:
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
yesteryear that's genious now you better run out and patten it before I do.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
what we need is a video game that allows kids to make poor food choices and shows them in 50 years with diabetes, heart disease, and unable to do anything because they are too fat to walk. if i can just get this idea off the ground i will have finally made my contribution to society. anyone want to invest?
HappyKate HappyKate 9 years
good start, long way to go...and can we stop making the schools fix all of our issues that should be handled by parents and family. Yes education about things is great but too much pressure is put on the schools to make everything right.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
hmm. all that comes to my mind is "are you done with that?" because that chow mein looks mighty tasty.
juju4 juju4 9 years
Hypno you crack me up! I am hoping that the attention to this topic will wake up parents that feed their children nothing but garbage. I think it has been a long time trend that junk food is "kid food". Only in the face of a real health crisis has the tide started to turn. I think the food industry has taken to the new healthy eating trend (100 calorie packs, etc.) so hopefully it is making it easier for parents to not overfeed their children. Nothing beats good old fruits and veggies.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Well I am not gay, just vain, so I too like looking fabulous. And as I tell my sister, "I would rather look like a peach then a french fry."
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
my ditto was to your first comment hypno... and you made me LOL with this: It wasn't until High School when I realized I was gay and had to look fabulous at all times ... you are too cute.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
Ditto hypno. and Pop I agree that the govt. can only do so much. I think it's too early to be doing the happy dance on this one just yet. It's a step in the right direction, but I'd like to see a bigger decrease in the numbers before I start celebrating. and while changing the habits and available foods in the schools is a great thing, I think more nutritional information and education for the parents would be helpful. Make it easily accesible and in very plain and simple terms so as not to overwhelm the probably already busy parents whose children suffer from poor eating habits. I'm not bashing there, it might sound like it, but I'm not. I'm simply pointing out that many of these parents probably work full time (both parents or single parents), and nutrition always seems to be one of the lowest item on the priority totem pole.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
Honestly I can remember the things I ate when I was a kid and it baffles me why I did not turn out to be a diabetic. My parents both worked and they weren't there in the morning or afternoon, so I was left to stuff my face like nobody's business. It wasn't until High School when I realized I was gay and had to look fabulous at all times that I went out for sports and became very active. O.K. part of that was a joke on stereotype. Anyway there are so many delicious alternatives to junk food now that in my opinion there simply is no excuse to raise a junk food kid.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Like the experts said, it's too early to tell if it's a trend or a lull. Sooo since I am sure I have less info than they do, I'll defer to their judgment. IMHO, the gov't can only do so much anyway.
Funny Story of a Mom Approached by a Hot Guy in Parking Lot
Best Birth Photos Ever Taken
Sarah Stage Claps Back at Mommy Shamers
Cool Braids For Girls
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds