One in eight preschoolers in the U.S. are obese. California’s push for
healthier choices is beginning to show measurable impact, per data released by the CDC, stating that as a whole, childhood obesity is finally on the decline in many areas.
Of the 43 states studied, California was one of 19 states showing a declining trend from 17.3 to 16.8 percent of of low-income obese children ages 2 to 4. There is definitely more work to be done, seeing as the percentage is still well above the 12 percent of preschoolers considered obese nationally, however it is a step in the right direction.
In Santa Clara County, the obesity rate is 16.6 percent.
Obesity rates in low-income preschoolers began to level off in 2003, after decades of rising, and are now beginning to show small declines in many states. However, the CDC insists, too many preschoolers are obese. State and local officials can play a big part in reducing obesity among preschoolers.
According the report, Children who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are 5 times as likely as normal-weight children to be overweight or obese as adults and are more likely to suffer lifelong physical and mental health problems.
Childcare providers and parent are encouraged to help fight the fat battle by incorporating these habit changes:
- Serve fruits and vegetables and other nutritious foods for meals and snacks.
- Be role models by eating healthy meals and snacks with preschoolers.
- Make water easily available throughout the day.
- Limit the time preschoolers watch TV or use the computer in child care and the home.
- Support and encourage preschoolers to be physically active every day.