Study: PA not part of nationwide decrease in childhood obesity

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 11, 2013 3:48 AM

(Atlanta) -- A new study shows Pennsylvania is not keeping pace with nationwide improvements in childhood obesity rates.

The report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looks at low-income preschoolers and finds childhood obesity rates have declined in 18 states and held steady in 20 others.

Rates went up in Pennsylvania and two other states.

CDC Director Doctor Tom Frieden says the information reveals more work to be done to combat obesity.

"Data is showing a tipping point, really, from steady increases to true decreases in many places around the U.S.," Frieden says. "It's encouraging news, but we're very, very far from being out of the woods."

Frieden credits a number of trends for the decrease in childhood obesity.

He says significant changes in the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program are making healthier foods available to low-income families, and he says an increase in breastfeeding is leading to healthier babies.

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