Youth-Obesity Rate Plunged by 43 Percent Over Past Decade, CDC Finds

February 26, 2014
by Brian Toporek
Education Week

The tide hasn't turned for all ages, however. The CDC found no significant decline in obesity rate for children between the ages of 2 and 19, or adults between 2003-04 and 2011-12.

Two years ago, 31.8 percent of youths ages 2 to 19 were considered either overweight or obese and 16.9 percent were obese. In terms of sheer numbers, that loosely translates to 12 million obese children and 23 million who could be classified as overweight or obese. (Those figures were publicized last year in a report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.)

The findings regarding 2- to 5-year-olds should be considered particularly encouraging for two reasons. First, previous research has suggested that overweight and obese youths are far more likely to be overweight or obese as adults compared to normal-weight children. By nipping obesity in the bud at an early age, there's a greater likelihood that children will grow up to maintain a healthy weight throughout their lives.

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