Modest Declines Observed in Severe Obesity Among Children

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The prevalence of severe obesity in children decreased significantly between 2010 and 2014.
The prevalence of severe obesity in children decreased significantly between 2010 and 2014.

HealthDay News — There have been recent modest declines in severe obesity among young children, according to a study published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

Liping Pan, MD, MPH, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends in severe obesity among enrollees in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) aged 2 to 4 years. Data were obtained from 22.6 million children enrolled in WIC during 2000 to 2014.

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The researchers found that in 2014, the prevalence of severe obesity was 1.96%. The prevalence increased significantly during 2000 to 2004, from 1.8% to 2.11% overall (adjusted prevalence difference [APD], 0.26%) and among all age, sex, and racial/ethnic groups except for Asians/Pacific Islanders (APD, 0.05% to 0.54% across groups with increases). The largest relative increases were seen in children aged 4 years and in non-Hispanic white and American Indian/Alaska Native children (adjusted prevalence ratios, 1.21, 1.22, and 1.19, respectively). The prevalence decreased significantly overall during 2004 to 2010 (APD, −0.05%) and among boys, children aged 2 to 3 years, and non-Hispanic black and Asian/Pacific Islander children (APD, −0.05% to −0.18%). The prevalence decreased significantly overall from 2.12% to 1.96% during 2010 to 2014 (APD, −0.14%) and among all demographic groups (APD, −0.04% to −0.3% across groups).

"The findings indicate recent progress in reducing the prevalence of severe obesity among young children in the United States enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children," the authors write.

Reference

Pan L, Park S, Slayton R, et al. Trends in severe obesity among children aged 2 to 4 years enrolled in special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children from 2000 to 2014 [published online January 8, 2018]. JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.4301

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