Obesity in Kids Plummets
Rate falls 43% among those age 2 to 5
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 5:02 PM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Here's something we don't hear much: good news on the nation's childhood obesity rate. The CDC says it's down among kids ages 2 to 5 by 43% over the last decade, reports Time. That's not just a mild surprise, it's "stunning," declares the New York Times. Specifically, the percentage of kids in that group who were obese dropped from 14% in 2004 to 8% in 2012. “This is the first time we’ve seen any indication of any significant decrease in any group,” says the author of the new report to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “It was exciting.”

Of course, the federal survey shows that obesity in the overall population remains a problem, reports NBC News, with about 33% of adults and 17% of all kids and teens classified as such. But the drop among the very young obviously bodes well. What's going on? The stories cite a slew of potential factors, from fewer sugary drinks, to increased breastfeeding, to better physical-education programs at school, to Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative. In a statement, Obama said she was "thrilled" at the improved numbers. (A recent study show why it's important: Kids are who obese in kindergarten are more likely to remain that way as adults.)