Obesity Down Among Poor Kids for 1st Time
Decline across 19 states is small but encouraging
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2013 6:00 PM CDT
Children's fitness expert Jose Ortiz helps train boys in abdominal exercises, at the gym he operates in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, April 20, 2007.    (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

(Newser) – For the first time, a major government report says US child obesity rates are declining among low-income children, the New York Times reports. The decline is minimal—no more than 1% in any state—but the CDC's analysis of 12 million children age 2 to 4 from 40 states is still encouraging. Cities had already reported a slight turnaround in the child obesity epidemic, but always among white children and families in the middle or upper income bracket.

What's behind the new numbers is anyone's guess. Analysts cite better education, government programs, more women breastfeeding, and the notion that poor American children with a genetic predisposition to obesity are already fat. Shannon Freeland, a 35-year-old low-income mother, points to education, saying she and her friends are learning more about health by going back to school during tough economic times. "I think parents have changed," she says. "Our income may still be low, but we’re more educated."

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Showing 3 of 34 comments
YankeeJane
Aug 7, 2013 6:20 PM CDT
It's because they have no food. That would account for the weight loss.
crankydude
Aug 7, 2013 3:04 PM CDT
I posted a comment here over 5 hours ago that was a bit long but no longer than others I have seen. Newser still says they are reviewing it. No profanity, no politics, no state secrets, no adult material. Are they slow readers?
crankydude
Aug 7, 2013 3:04 PM CDT
Pure garbage. If as I believe, biology causes most obesity, not lifestyle or choice, you can educate till your head explodes and it is just caving in to the junk science foisted upon you. That is why our society is saturated with diets, programs, videos, books, gurus, exercise equipment and unsolicited advice, ALL with an almost non-existent long term success rate! And still the new ones keep coming to tempt the sufferers out of their money with the hope of help at along last. And even those suffering from obesity capitulate to the view that it is a character defect, a form of inferiority. Just as oppressed minorities have been known to capitulate to self hatred. People adore trashing one another, it is one of the most popular hobbies on earth. So we are quick to embrace anything that allows us to feel superior and we remain surrounded by obese people! The only known, successful, LONG TERM treatment for obesity is bariatric surgery. Isolated "success stories" rather than proving the possibility of success by exercise and calorie reduction are statistically insignificant aberrations. And those who have lost great amounts that way know that the effort it took was all-consuming and interfered with many of the other activities of daily living. I struggled for 50 years and lost hundreds of pounds, always regaining every ounce and bouncing up to a new all time high. my ever waking moment was consumed by it. I absented myself from school and work in favor of spending extra days out walking, jogging, biking, climbing stairs. Yet I was condemned as slothful. "Why did I eat that! I will do better tomorrow. I should not be eating this. Why am I eating this. I will fill myself up with salad. I will fill myself up with water. I will take more diet pills. How many miles must I walk to undo that!" In one effort I walked and biked in the heat till I became light headed and prostrated, retching up clear fluids: dehydration. But I lost weight! I consumed nothing but formula for months, supervised at a hospital; lost tons and gained it back. Those 50 years I repeatedly heard those close to me saying all the usual: "If you shut your mouth and eat less you will lose weight". A particularly excellent example of the cruelty is when you happen to say you are hungry and someone says "you don't look hungry". Now I am post gastric bypass and I weigh 170 pounds less than I did 15 years ago; and my weight has been stable within a ten pound range 15 years; and I do not engage in heroic feats of exercise; and I do not torment myself with obsessive thoughts and self recrimination. And I speak out on behalf of those being subjected to the ignorance, insensitivity, hocus pocus, officiousness and self-righteousness of others. We do not need diets or exercise; we need research. The only education that is needed is educating others to have insight. THEREFORE READ BEYOND THIS POINT AT YOUR OWN RISK OF LOSING YOUR HATEFUL PREJUDICES. More than half of all adults in the United States are overweight! http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Why-people-become-overweight.htm "Your weight depends on the number of calories you consume, how many of those calories you store, and how many you burn up. But each of these factors is influenced by a combination of genes and environment. Both can affect your physiology (such as how fast you burn calories) as well as your behavior (the types of foods you choose to eat, for instance). The interplay between all these factors begins at the moment of your conception and continues throughout your life. . . . . Several prescription drugs can cause weight gain as a side effect by increasing appetite or slowing metabolism. These include corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone (used for a variety of conditions to reduce inflammation); estrogen and progesterone (used in oral contraceptives); anticonvulsants such as valproic acid (Depakote, others); certain anticancer medications; and drugs such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), haloperidol (Haldol), lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid), and clozapine (Clozaril), which are used to treat psychiatric conditions. Paradoxically, weight gain can also be a side effect of some drugs used to treat conditions that result from obesity itself. Among these drugs are insulin and glyburide (DiaBeta and others); these are treatments for diabetes, which is common among people with weight disorders. Several antidepressants may cause patients to put on weight, including tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine (Tofranil) or desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as paroxetine (Paxil), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and fluoxetine (Prozac)." NOT free to choose; NOT personal fault! NOT!