Study shows dramatic decrease in obesity in kids ages 2-5 - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Study shows dramatic decrease in obesity in kids ages 2-5

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A promising sign in the fight against childhood obesity. A study focused on young kids suggests we're making significant progress.

The report, using federal data, shows the obesity rate for kids ages 2-5 years-old dropped 43% from nearly 14% to 8% over the past decade.

That's encouraging news for parents and the owner of Fun-N-Fitness gymnastics in Mishawaka, Barb Krizman. She says getting kids moving at a young age is key. "If you start them young and you get them going, it just becomes part of their lifestyle."

Parent Amy Gaynor says, "I think it's great. I think we're doing a good job as parents and modeling better food choices and eating habits and hopefully modeling some better exercise regimes."

Health officials are also encouraged by the drop, as pre-schoolers who are overweight or obese are five times more likely than other children to be heavy as adults. That means a greater risk of high cholesterol, high blood sugar, asthma, and even mental illness.

Experts though, not exactly sure what's behind the dramatic decrease, but they have some ideas.

"There's increased attention to childhood nutrition. There's increasing breast-feeding rates. Child cares are doing more physical activity," says Director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden.

Parents say, making sure their kids are healthy isn't exactly easy. "It's expensive to buy produce and it's expensive to buy fresh fruit and other food. So it's nice to know, at least in that lower age bracket, some things are changing," says parent Kara Kane.

However, according to the study, obesity rates for older kids have stayed the same.

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