FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA WEIGHS IN ON NEWS OF DECLINING RATE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY
First Lady Michelle Obama acknowledged the report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week indicating that obesity rates among low-income U.S. preschool children declined. The First Lady issued a statement noting that the results of the federal
government report show the country is moving in the right direction. One in seven children ages 2 to 19 are obese and the CDC's report indicated that the obesity rate for preschoolers dropped from 15.2% to 14.94%. The decline is attributed to three trends: serving healthier foods in federally- funded maternal and child nutrition programs; an increase in breast feeding; and greater public awareness of health and fitness. Mrs. Obama has been a driving force in raising awareness of the obesity risks for children through her Let's Move initiative which fosters healthy eating and fitness. Childhood obesity often continues into adulthood resulting in more medical problems and costs for those who are obese than for people of normal weight. Whether a person is obese is determined by the Body Mass Index (BMI) which correlates with the amount of fat in the body. People who are obese have a BMI of 30% or higher. The CDC reports that slightly more than one-third (35.7%) of adults in the United States are obese with the highest percentage (29.5%) residing in the southern part of the United States.