by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  August 16, 2013 at 3:06 PM Health In Focus
Poor Children Show a Decline in Obesity
Obesity rate among preschool-age children from poor families shows a falling trend. This is in contrast to the scenario that existed in the past.

With the steep rise in the rates of obesity among children in the past few years, more and more studies are being done as an attempt to shed more light over this concerning issue.

Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits and genetic factors are thought to play an important role in the occurrence of obesity, while among children, certain other environmental factors such as peer pressure (leading to stress eating), lactating and pregnant mother's diet, etc, tend to impact the child's likelihood of getting obese.

To identify even further how certain environments and exposures could make children more likely to suffer from obesity, federal researchers have now put forth a new evidence, which clearly links being in a high-income family to the risk of suffering from obesity in children.

According to the federal health officials, the rate of obesity in pre-school children coming from poor families in 19 different regions fell to a noticeable level. Even after decades of constant rise in the rates of childhood obesity, a consistent pattern of decline is seen in children belonging to lower income groups.

In contrast, earlier statistics revealed a much higher prevalence of childhood obesity in children belonging to poor families; but now, the trend seems to be changing.

"We've seen isolated reports in the past that have had encouraging trends, but this is the first report to show declining rates of obesity in our youngest children," Dr Thomas Frieden, the director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who prepared the report, explained. "We are going in the right direction for the first time in a generation."

While the actual cause behind this sudden shift of trend is yet to be known, researchers speculate that several factors including an increase in breastfeeding, decline in the consumption of sugary drinks and better diets in children and mothers may be linked to this decline in childhood obesity rates.

Some other revolutionary attempts done by several organizations; Michelle Obama's attempt to change eating and exercise habits in young children in 10,000 child care centers across the country, may also have bought about a public awareness and thus a decline in childhood obesity rates.

Though this doesn't imply that being poor could help kids shed weight, but it does teach us an important lesson about how access to everything without limits could increase the risk of obesity, and many other health conditions that go hand in hand with it.

Source: Medindia

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