Childhood Obesity Rate Levels Off

Researchers report first 'glimmer of hope' in decades
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2008 6:09 PM CDT
A glimmer of good news? Childhood obesity may have peaked, researchers say.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The rate of childhood obesity appears to have peaked, providing the first "glimmer of hope" on the problem in decades, federal researchers say. About 15% of kids ages 2 to 19 are obese, a slight decrease from the percentage in 1999, the Washington Post reports. It's the first time since the 1980s that the percentage has not gone up, though researchers cautioned that far too many kids face serious health risks because of their weight.

"It's too soon to uncork the champagne," said one expert. "Even if the rates don't go up anymore, they are so high that that the full impact of the childhood obesity epidemic will continue for next few decades." The number of kids classified as either overweight or obese remained steady at 32%.