Obesity Rates Plummet For Pre-Schoolers

Obesity rates among American pre-schoolers are falling, new government figures out Tuesday show — giving what could be a sign that the United States is taking control of its weight problem. First Lady Michelle Obama hailed the new numbers. Obesity among children aged two to five dropped by 43 percent between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012, with the obesity rate for the age group falling from 14 percent of kids to 8 percent of them, data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday show. "I am thrilled at the progress we've made over the last few years in obesity rates among our youngest Americans," she said, saying that amid efforts like her own to get young kids more active, "healthier habits are beginning to become the new norm." The numbers on pre-schoolers were the one bright spot in a report that also found that overall obesity held steady but remains high in the U.S., with about a third of adults and 17 percent of kids and teens medically obese. Still, the drop in pre-school obesity is encouraging, given that research has found that overweight kindergarteners are four times as likely to become obese by middle school.

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