Obesity on the Decline?

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By Jennifer Aiyer MS, RDN

Obesity is an epidemic in the United States – a message we have been hearing for years. With it comes a barrage of other health issues including increased heart disease, cancer and stroke. However recent research from Federal Health Authorities shows a sharp 43% decline in obesity rates among one of the youngest US populations, children 2 to 5 years old. There is little consensus among experts as to “why” we are seeing the decrease now, but possible theories include an increase in breastfeeding, reduced caloric intake, and improved food provisions by the federally funded Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (known informally as “WIC”). It is likely that a combination of state, local and federal policies aimed at reducing obesity is starting to make a difference, and experts are cautiously optimistic.

Interestingly, Michelle Obama’s recent public launch of the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed nutrition label changes is another facet designed to assist consumers in choosing healthy foods. The new labels have specifically addressed calories, portion size, and sugar intake – as reflected in evidence-based research on diet and health.

To read more on the obesity trends:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/26/health/obesity-rate-for-young-children-plummets-43-in-a-decade.html?smid=fb-share&_r=1

 

http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0225-child-obesity.html

 

https://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1832542

 

To read more on the FDA’s proposed food label changes and to see a new sample label:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm2006828.htm

 

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm#images

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