Obesity continues to remain a major health issue in the United States and, according to a new study published in the Pediatrics journal, more American children are becoming overweight.
The condition is most prevalent among Hispanic and African- American children. Researchers found that nearly half of all Hispanic children are either overweight or obese.
“The main take-home message for me is that, clearly, obesity remains a problem,” says Asheley Skinner, an associate professor of population health services at Duke University and lead author of the study.
To reach this conclusion, Skinner and her team sifted through federal data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The representative sample called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, involved over 3 thousand children.
Researchers compared body mass index (BMI) reported in 2013 and 2014 to BMI reported in the two following years. They revealed that the percentage of children between 2 and 19 who are obese increased from 14 percent in 1999 to 18.5 percent in 2015 and 2016.
According to the study, there is no statistical difference in the overall obesity rate between the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 surveys.
More so, researchers noticed a massive increase of this condition among children, ages 2 to 5 years old. This age group was reported to have increased obesity rates from 9 percent to nearly 14 percent.
“That’s the highest level of obesity that we’ve seen in 2- to 5-year olds since 1999,” Skinner said.
Skinner stressed that obesity among the young is a concern, mainly due to the condition’s likelihood of carrying over to adulthood.
There have been numerous attempts at curving obesity rates in recent years, many of which have had millions of dollars worth of investments. However, a combination of lifestyle factors such as poor eating habits and not enough exercise continue to produce overweight or obese children.
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