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One in Seven Low-Income Children Still Obese

America falling far short of Healthy People 2010 objectives to slash childhood obesity

FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of obesity among low-income, preschool-aged children has not reduced in recent years and remains at 14.6 percent for 2008, despite the fact that the target prevalence set out in the Healthy People 2010 objectives is just 5 percent, according to a study published in the July 24 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Ajay J. Sharma, Ph.D., of the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in Atlanta, and colleagues examined 1998 to 2008 data from the CDC's Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System to examine obesity trends and prevalence among young children from low-income families.

The researchers report that there was a steady increase in the prevalence of obesity among low-income, preschool-aged children from 1998 to 2003 (from 12.4 to 14.5 percent). Prevalence then effectively stabilized and was 14.6 percent in 2008.

"Childhood obesity continues to be a leading public health concern that disproportionately affects low-income and minority children," the authors write. "Reducing childhood obesity will require effective prevention strategies that focus on environments and policies promoting physical activity and a healthy diet for families, child care centers, and communities."

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