First decrease in US childhood obesity

August 9, 2013
by Bob Holmes
New Scientist Magazine

The great wave of obesity in US children may have crested. Children from low-income homes – who tend to be fatter than their counterparts from wealthier families – have become slightly, but significantly, leaner in recent years, a new government study reports.

Epidemiologist Ashleigh May at the US Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, and her colleagues used data from the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, in which medical workers recorded the height and weight of about 11.6 million preschool children from 43 US states and territories who were enrolled in government nutrition-assistance programmes between 2008 and 2011. The researchers then adjusted the data to account for differences due to race, age and sex.

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