Efforts to Tackle Childhood Obesity Nationwide Are Making a Difference
Currie, Donya, The Nation's Health
EFFORTS TO improve fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity while reducing television viewing time and junk food consumption have begun to make a difference.
Through its Public Health Grand Rounds on Childhood Obesity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January highlighted programs around the country that aim to reduce the number of obese children and teens, which now stands at about 12.5 million. The total represents about 17 percent of all U.S. children and adolescents and is more than triple the 5 percent obesity rate of 1970.
"During the past 10 years, the rapid increase in obesity has slowed and might have leveled," according to a summary in the Jan. 21 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. "However, among the heaviest boys, a significant increase in obesity has been observed, with the heaviest getting even heavier."
CDC officials are focusing on the best available evidence to use in implementing anti-obesity programs. One example is the Maine Youth Overweight Collaborative, a partnership of community groups, health providers and state officials that started with a simple message of "5-2-1-0. …