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Childhood Obesity Shamefully Increasing In the US

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The latest research is showing a very disturbing trend. In 2017, surveys show there has been no improvement in childhood obesity statistics. In fact, the number of obese children in the U.S. is shamefully on the rise.


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Childhood Obesity A Concern In The U.S.

Childhood obesity continues to be a significant concern for the United States. The prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States remains high, with ∼1 in 5 children having obesity. The past 18 years have seen increases in the levels of severe obesity in all ages and populations despite increased attention and efforts across numerous domains of public health and individual care.

Researchers Hope For Improvement in Obesity Rates

A new study published in the journal Pediatricsset out to provide updated data on the prevalence of obesity trends among US children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years.

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Researchers used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. They reviewed nutritional surveys from 1999 to 2016. Weight status was determined by using measured height and weight from the physical examination component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination to calculate age- and sex-specific body mass index and reported the estimates of overweight and obesity in classes: class I, class II, and class III, categorized by 2-year National Health and Nutrition Examination cycles. The researchers then compared cycles by using adjusted Wald tests and linear trends by using ordinary least squares regression.

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White and Asian Children Have Lower Obesity Rates Than Black and Hispanic Children

The data showed that White and Asian American children have significantly lower rates of obesity than African American children, Hispanic children, or children of other races. Researchers reported a positive linear trend for all definitions of overweight and obesity among children 2–19 years old, most prominently among adolescents. Alarmingly, children aged 2 to 5 years showed a sharp increase in obesity prevalence from 2015 to 2016 compared with the previous cycle.

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No Decline In Obesity Discovered

Researchers concluded that despite previous reports that obesity in children and adolescents has remained stable or decreased in recent years, researchers found no evidence of a decline in obesity at any age.

In contrast, researchers reported a significant increase in severe obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years since the 2013–2014 cycle, a trend that continued upward for many subgroups.

"A few years ago, there was also some hopeful evidence that obesity rates might be declining for preschool-aged children. Unfortunately, our data, looking at the same age group, show this decline now appears to be reversing," said Asheley Skinner, a health services researcher and first author of the study.