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43% Drop in Obesity Among Preschoolers? Don't Get Too Excited Yet — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 17, 2014

43% Drop in Obesity Among Preschoolers? Don't Get Too Excited Yet

By Amy Orciari Herman

A widely reported 43% drop in obesity among U.S. preschoolers reported in February was "probably too good to be true," Reuters reports.

The study, based on CDC data and published in JAMA, found that obesity prevalence among children aged 2 to 5 years declined from 14% in 2003-2004 to 8% in 2010-2012. However, the sample size was relatively small (about 900), and the authors themselves warned that the results "should be interpreted with caution." Nonetheless, a CDC press release highlighted the 43% drop, as did media outlets across the country.

An epidemiologist who examined the data told Reuters that there may have been no change in obesity prevalence, and in fact, a statistical increase could not be ruled out. In addition, Reuters points to several previous studies showing either increases in obesity or much smaller drops in prevalence than that reported by the CDC.

Reader Comments (1)

Patrick Greenshield Other, Unspecified
Competing Interests: I am a representative of supplements which are designed to promote and support the body's natural ability to heal itself and reduce weight gain.

Its interesting. I watched last week's story circulate around the world's media about how childhood obesity had declined. Now this week I am watching the media around the world say, "not so fast". Childhood obesity has not declined. Could it be that all the world's media is reading from the same script?

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