After years of scales tipping upward for children, a welcome reversal has appeared among preschoolers.
But why the 2- to 5-year-old set is slimming down is still unknown, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports the discouraging findings that no significant changes in obesity were found among 2- to 19-year-olds or adults in the U.S.
So cancel the cake to celebrate the youngsters’ improvement. What’s important now is to figure out why the toddlers fared better. Experts suggest it may be a combination of more breastfeeding, more exercise and better eating habits that limit the sweet stuff.
Lots of public and private efforts fortunately are spreading the words popularized by first lady Michelle Obama in the Let’s Move campaign for kids. Improvement among the youngest children bodes well for the future. Curbing obesity earlier makes it easier to lessen health complications later. And the costs of allowing the obesity epidemic to continue are huge.
Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and other chronic illnesses. Illnesses devastate individuals and drive up health care costs, perfect reasons to warrant bipartisan support for added efforts.
Better labeling on food, with honest appraisals of serving sizes and easier-to-read calorie counts, makes good sense.