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CDC Report Finds Declining Obesity Rates Among Young Children

Across the country, families, communities, schools, businesses and organizations are working to move our nation toward a healthier new norm, and studies are showing that their efforts are paying off. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that obesity rates for preschool age children have declined by 43% over the past decade. This is great news!

“I couldn’t be more excited by the news that obesity rates for 2-5 year olds declined by 43% over the last 10 years.  Progress of this magnitude can only be explained by the leadership and hard work we are seeing across this country,” Mrs. Obama said in a statement.  “From parents to teachers, doctors to community leaders, everyone is stepping up to make small changes that are having a huge impact – and today, healthy habits are becoming the new norm for our kids. We have a long way to go, but I am more confident than ever that we can give all our children the bright, healthy futures they deserve.”

 
First Lady Michelle Obama joins children for a healthy snack during a "Let's Move!" event at La Petite Academy child care center in Bowie, Md., Feb. 27, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

“We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping. This report comes on the heels of previous CDC data that found a significant decline in obesity prevalence among low-income children aged 2 to 4 years participating in federal nutrition programs,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “We’ve also seen signs from communities around the country with obesity prevention programs including Anchorage, Alaska, Philadelphia, New York City and King County, Washington. This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic.”

We know that helping kids develop healthy habits in their earliest years is critical to their future health. As part of the Let’s Move! anniversary celebration, First Lady Michelle Obama visited a local child care center to highlight the progress of Let’s Move! Child Care and recognize yet another child care provider signing on to support the program. Since launching in 2011, over 12,000 providers have committed to fostering healthy environments and instilling healthy habits among our nation’s preschoolers that will last a lifetime. Through Let’s Move! Child Care, providers are increasing physical activity, limiting screen time, serving healthier food and beverages, and supporting breastfeeding mothers. More than 1 million children are being reached by early childhood education networks that have committed to Let’s Move! Child Care.

Thanks to the numerous committed efforts, we are making progress across the country. Still, we look forward to continuing this work to ensure that we see even greater declines in childhood obesity.