Toddler Obesity Rate Drop May Be Too Good to Be True

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An article calls into question a study's claim that obesity rates for children 2 to 5 years old had decreased.

When we reported last month that a study noted a decline in the obesity rate of 2- to 5-year-olds, we hoped we were seeing a new trend after years of rising obesity rates. It seemed odd that the rates had remained steady for all other groups (except one age group in which the rate increased) but had dropped for this group of youngsters. We may have had reason to wonder. The decrease might not be an actual decrease, if this article by Reuters is correct.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Washington, DC, showed a decline in obesity rates among 2- to 5-year-olds from more than 12 percent in 2009-2010 to more than 8 percent in 2011-2012.

However, the story by Reuters says that this study was based on a small number of children, which may have caused a fluke fluctuation in the rate, especially since other studies show no decline in this segment of the population during the same period. Perhaps only more studies and time will tell whether this data is correct.

Read the Reuters story, and share with us what you think.

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