US Childhood Obesity Dipping:

Obesity rates among small children may finally be on the decline

after more than tripling in the United States the past 30 years, a new

study indicated.

The study found that obesity rates peaked in 2004

and then declined slightly among low-income children aged two to four

who receive benefits from a federal food stamp program called SNAP.

While other federal food programs, like the free meals offered in

schools, have been revised to focus on healthful eating, federal food stamp program (SNAP) has no

regulations to influence the quality of food purchased.


our knowledge, this is the first national study to show that the

prevalence of obesity and extreme obesity among young US children may

have begun to decline," wrote lead author Liping Pan of the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"The results of this study

indicate modest recent progress of obesity prevention among young

children. These findings may have important health implications because

of the lifelong health risks of obesity and extreme obesity in early


The researchers analyzed data from a pediatric nutrition

surveillance system which monitors almost half of the children eligible

for federally funded maternal and child health and nutrition programs.


were able to access height and weight data from 27.5 million children

aged two to four in the 30 states which consistently reported their


In 1998, obesity levels were at 13.05 percent of the children. This rose

to a peak of 15.36 percent in 2004 before declining to 14.94 percent in