With more than one-third of adults in America suffering from obesity (cdc.gov), many would agree that we are experiencing an epidemic in this country. This silent killer is connected to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other conditions which plague our nation. However, researchers have made a surprising discovery that suggests a trend towards a healthier future for the next generation.
According to a recent article in the New York Times, federal health authorities reported a huge 43% decrease in the obesity rate of children between 2 and 5 years of age within the last decade. This is extremely good news, especially considering that children who are overweight are five times more likely to be obese as adults.
Although this news is music to many parents’ ears, it is important to remember that obesity prevalence is still at large in America, particularly among adults. Researchers warn the public that America needs to stay aware and keep working towards making the nation healthier in order for these results to be sustained. In order for the decline to continue, children need more access to nutritious food and physical activities.
“To reverse the current prevalence of obesity, these numbers have to be a lot bigger,” said Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “But they are trending in the right direction, and that’s good news,” (nytimes.org).
As for the cause of this sudden decline, researchers can only speculate. America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama, is attempting to lead a movement towards correcting unhealthy eating and exercise habits among the nation’s children. This movement has received the support of over 10,000 child care centers across the U.S.
The more attention we give to our childrens’ fitness and eating habits could make all the difference. Hopefully, we will be able to continue in this positive trend and create a more health-conscious America for generations to come.
If you would like to read the New York Times Article for more details, you can here.
Image from flickr.com creative commons.