Obesity rate among kids ages 2-5 drops 43 percent - FOX 32 News Chicago

Obesity rate among kids ages 2-5 drops 43 percent

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There is some good news to report in the fight to reduce childhood obesity. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a sharp decline in obesity rates for young kids.

The federal study indicates the obesity rate among children ages 2 to 5 dropped 43 percent. Scientists said it's the first time there has been a significant drop in the obesity rate in any group, and this can make a real impact for a lifetime.

They said this downward trend is important because once obesity is established with the very young, it leads to long term illnesses in adulthood.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention weighed and measured people of all ages, including about 600 infants and toddlers in 2011 and 2012. There was no change in rates among older children and teenagers. One third of that group and two thirds of adults remain overweight.

Scientists said the reason young children are showing this development could be because they are consuming fewer sugary drinks and more babies are breastfed.

The CDC's findings included a comment from First Lady Michelle Obama, who said she's thrilled at the progress made in obesity rates among our youngest Americans.

Across the country, 10,000 child care centers have signed on for Mrs. Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. The local effort is growing as well.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago has a nationally recognized program that helps treat and prevent childhood obesity. Local officials have been trying to do something about food deserts. Principals at many Chicago schools are asking parents not to send their kids to school with sugary snacks in their lunch boxes.

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