WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Obesity rates showed a statistically significant decrease in 31
Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released a new data visualization showing how state-by-state obesity rates have changed among 2- to 4-year-old WIC participants since 2000 and a series of maps highlighting states' efforts to help promote nutrition and physical activity in early child care settings.
"These data are encouraging because kids from lower-income families are especially vulnerable and often face higher risk for obesity," said Donald F. Schwarz, MD, MPH, MBA, vice president, RWJF. "We must continue to track and analyze child obesity and the programs that aim to reduce rates, especially among our nation's youngest kids. This is critical for informing efforts to address disparities and ensuring that all children—no matter who they are or where they live—have a healthy start from their very first days."
Utah had the lowest rate of 2- to 4-year-old WIC participants who were obese at 8.2 percent, while Virginia had the highest rate at 20.0 percent, according to today's findings. Additional data on obesity rates among young children:
"It is heartening to see evidence of progress after decades of work," said Rich Hamburg, interim president and CEO, TFAH. "However, this doesn't mean we've accomplished our goal. We need to keep the momentum going to ensure young children and families have the support they need -- through programs like WIC -- that help improve access to healthy, affordable food, quality healthcare, home visiting programs and health and nutrition education programs."
Last month, CDC released a new Early Care and Education State Indicator Report, tracking state policies that aim to prevent obesity in child care settings. Some key findings include:
In September 2016, RWJF and TFAH released State of Obesity 2016: Better Policies for a Healthier America, which included a detailed policy analysis of WIC and other related childhood nutrition and obesity prevention initiatives, noting that:
The State of Obesity report includes recommended strategies and policies to help ensure all young children have the opportunity to maintain a healthy weight. Some key areas of emphasis include:
Data released today are from the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Study (WIC PC) as reported in an analysis of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review. WIC PC summarizes the demographic information of WIC participants and is based on measured height and weight data. Women, infants and children in families with incomes at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) who are at nutritional risk are eligible for the WIC program (FPL is $24,250 for a family of four); some participants become income eligible for WIC through participation in other programs based on income or other economic variables programs. Further analysis of the WIC program and changes in participation levels could provide additional evidence on the factors that helped contribute to the decline in obesity rates.
Follow the conversation at #StateofObesity.
Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority. For more information, visit www.healthyamericans.org.
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
2014 STATE-BY-STATE OBESITY RATES OF WIC PARTICIPANTS AGES 2-4
Based on an analysis of new state-by-state data from the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Study (WIC PC), obesity rates for children ages 2-4 by state from highest to lowest were:
1. Virginia (20.0); 2. Alaska (19.1); 3. Delaware (17.2); 4. South Dakota (17.1); 5. Nebraska (16.9); 6. (tie) California (16.6) and Massachusetts (16.6); 8. Maryland (16.5); 9. West Virginia (16.4); 10. (tie) Alabama (16.3) and Rhode Island (16.3); 12. (tie) Connecticut (15.3) and 12. New Jersey (15.3); 14. Illinois (15.2); 15. (tie) Maine (15.1) and 15. New Hampshire (15.1); 17. (tie) North Carolina (15.0) and Oregon (15.0); 19. (tie) Tennessee (14.9) and Texas (14.9); 21. (tie) Iowa (14.7) and 21. Wisconsin (14.7); 23. Mississippi (14.5); 24. (tie) Arkansas (14.4) and North Dakota (14.4); 26. (tie) Indiana (14.3) and New York (14.3); 28. Vermont (14.1); 29. Oklahoma (13.8); 30. Washington (13.6); 31. Michigan (13.4); 32. (tie) Arizona (13.3) and Kentucky (13.3); 34. Louisiana (13.2); 35. Ohio (13.1); 36. (tie) District of Columbia (13.0) and Georgia (13.0) and Missouri (13.0); 39. Pennsylvania (12.9); 40. Kansas (12.8); 41. Florida (12.7); 42. (tie) Montana (12.5) and New Mexico (12.5); 44. Minnesota (12.3); 45. (tie) Nevada (12.0) and South Carolina (12.0); 47. Idaho (11.6); 48. Hawaii (10.3); 49. Wyoming (9.9); 50. Colorado (8.5); 51. Utah (8.2).
Note: 1 = Highest rate, 51 = lowest rate.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/obesity-rates-among-young-children-from-low-income-families-declined-in-31-states-300365200.html
SOURCE Trust for America's Health
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