The Kitchen Think: Childhood Obesity Rates May Be Falling

4 years ago

We all got some good news earlier this week, and you may not even be aware of it.

Childhood obesity rates are falling.

The trend has emerged in large cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska and Kearney, Nebraska and El Paso, Texas.

So you're asking... why is this good news for me? Because falling obesity rates might mean those children won’t grow up to be obese adults who usually face the kind of medical issues that come with staggering costs.

For example, the government will spend $200 billion dollars this year alone to treat diabetes, heart disease and strokes, which are often driven by obesity. Many of those who receive treatment live at or below the poverty line. That’s something we’ll all pay for.

The childhood obesity epidemic may be reversing its course because the issue has become a significant part of the national conversation. We’ve been bombarded (in a good way) with anti-obesity television and print ad campaigns. As well, many schools have moved away from high-fat, sugar laced breakfast and lunches and switched to healthier menus. Sugary drink and snack machines have also been booted out of many schools. 

Researchers say while the decline is welcome, it will still take a major government action to significantly reverse the trend.

I’m sure it will. But even if we’re seeing only a tiny dip in the numbers, I like it. That means there are parents (and children) taking their future health and weight seriously.

Every year around the holidays, you always hear people saying things like, “If you’ve got your health, you have everything,” and “I’m just grateful for my health (or the good health of my family).”

But really, is there anything more important?  

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