Childhood obesity can cause asthma, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other health problems that often follow kids into adulthood. It has been known for some time that children from low-income families are more likely to be affected by obesity.
“Continued initiatives to work with parents and other stakeholders to promote healthy pregnancies, breastfeeding, quality nutrition, and physical activity for young children in multiple settings are needed to ensure healthy child development,” according to authors from the CDC and USDA.
Still too high
The researchers lauded the fact that childhood obesity rates in low-income families have dropped in 31 states over the past five years, but say 14% is still too high. The national average for children in a similar age group (ages 2 to 5) is 8.9%.
The authors wrote that “new and continued implementation of evidence-based measures,” such as the WIC program and first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, are needed to support and educate pregnant women, ensure parents and families have the appropriate information about healthy behaviors, and encourage stakeholders to create supportive nutrition and physical activity environments.