Good news: Only 8 percent of kids between 2 and 5-years-old are overweight. Credit: Colourbox
Despite the widely held belief that children in the U.S. are getting more obese, new research suggests otherwise. Federal health authorities have reportedly seen a 43 percent drop in the obesity rate in children ages 2 to 5-year-olds over the past 10 years, the New York Times reports. The data says 14 percent of kids between two and five were overweight in 2004, compared with 8 percent today.
"This is the first time we've seen any indication of any significant decrease in any group," Cynthia L. Ogden, a researcher for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells the New York Times. Some of the reasons researchers credit the drop in obesity is that more mothers are breastfeeding their newborns and children aren't drinking as many sugary drinks. They also point out that the government is making healthy living habits a more prominent part of early childhood education. Michelle Obama is particular has been one of the biggest change makers when it comes to establishing health habits in kids.
While this certainly is encouraging news, federal health researchers warn against being too excited since the rate has only dropped in this small age group and was not seen among children in other age groups or adults.