For the first time in recent years, obesity rates have gone down in New Hampshire children. The Centers for Disease Control’s first national study on childhood obesity finds that 14.2 percent of preschool-age children in the state are obese, down from 15.6 percent in 2003.
José Montero, Director of Public Health Services at the New Hampshire Department Of Health and Human Services, sees the decline as modest, but encouraging.
…it’s a low income group which we know has higher rates of obesity and more long term complications with those conditions so that is why this particular piece of data is important because it shows progress in this particularly hard to treat population.
The study compares the height and weight of 20,000 children ages 2 to 4, participating in federally sponsored nutrition programs in New Hampshire. It includes 27 million U.S. children overall.
CDC researchers are cautiously optimistic that the decrease signals the peak of the obesity epidemic has passed for this age group.