New research is indicating a drop in childhood obesity… but only in some children.
The researchers analyzed more than eight million California children and teens and found that the rates of obesity showed some encouraging declines after a peak in 2005 among Asian and white boys and girls and among Hispanic boys. However, rates have continued to climb among African American and American Indian girls. It remained stable for Hispanic girls.
“On the one hand it is really heartening to see the declines in white and Asian children and the plateau in Latino youth,” says researcher Kristine Madsen, MD, MPH, of the University of California, San Francisco. “But this is tempered by concerns about increasing racial disparities in childhood obesity. The fact that the gap appears to be widening is very troubling.”
The obvious question is, why is their peaking and declining in some children? Madsen believe that it is probable that obesity rates began to plateau due to the coinciding ban on the sale of sugary soft drinks and snacks in schools.
While the research was limited to California, it is a large population sample, and the researchers think that the trend is not isolated.
“I don’t think this is limited to the West Coast,” Madsen says. “We are certainly seeing similar trends in the larger, more diverse states like Texas and New York.”