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July 14, 2013 11:12 PM Is Childhood Obesity Going Down?

By Aaron Carroll

There’s usually so much bad news when it comes to obesity in the US, it’s hard to take good news at face value. But it seems to be real:

Nearly one-third of children and teens are overweight or obese. But growing evidence suggests that places making strong, far-reaching changes—those that make healthy foods available in schools and communities and integrate physical activity into people’s daily lives—are seeing reductions in their childhood obesity rates. More efforts are needed to implement these types of changes nationwide and to address persistent health disparities.

Obesity rates aren’t going up everywhere. Go read the RWJF brief. In Anchorage (where I will be flying next week, by the way), childhood obesity declined 3% from 2003/4 to 2010/11. In Mississippi, in dropped 13% from 2005 to 2011. In Eastern Massachusetts, it dropped 21% from 2004 to 2008.

There isn’t one thing they did. Each area tried its own plan. But it’s heartening to see that some things do seem to work.

[Originally posted at The Incidental Economist]

Aaron Carroll ,MD, is an associate professor of Pediatrics and the associate director of Children’s Health Services Research at Indiana University School of Medicine.
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