New federal data published in the journal Pediatrics, says there’s been an increase in childhood obesity for kids between the ages of 2-5 years from about 9 percent to almost 14 percent.
Asheley Skinner, an associate professor of population health services at Duke University and leader of the analysis said in an NPR report, “It is a big jump,” Skinner pointed out, “That’s the highest level of obesity that we’ve seen in 2- to 5-year olds since 1999.”
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“Obesity in the youngest group is a concern,” she says, “because when obesity starts younger, most of these children continue to have obesity throughout childhood and into adulthood. “The earlier you start seeing this, the harder it is to address it for these kids.”
The new data also mentioned that efforts to help raise awareness from Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, to the American Academy of Pediatrics establishing a Section on Obesity in 2013, and several efforts led by states, hospitals, and communities, may have had some impact with certain groups but that more resources are needed to help continue fighting the battle against childhood obesity.
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Dr. Sarah Armstrong, who was on Skinner’s team added that despite the amount of money that goes towards research for the last 20-years, ” we don’t seem to be making a big dent in the situation.”
The associate professor of pediatrics at Duke warned, “We need to double down our efforts and find out what’s going to work,” she says, “or the health of our future generation is really in jeopardy.”