US childhood obesity dips for first time in decades: Study
CHICAGO (AFP) - Obesity rates among small children may finally be on the decline after more than tripling in the United States the past 30 years, a study out on Wednesday indicated.
The study found that obesity rates peaked in 2004 and then declined slightly among low-income children aged two to four who receive benefits from a federal food stamp programme called Snap.
"To our knowledge, this is the first national study to show that the prevalence of obesity and extreme obesity among young US children may have begun to decline," wrote lead author Liping Pan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"The results of this study indicate modest recent progress of obesity prevention among young children. These findings may have important health implications because of the lifelong health risks of obesity and extreme obesity in early childhood." Obesity is most prevalent among minority and low-income families and has been associated with a range of health problems and premature death.