Childhood obesity rates have been on the rise in the U.S. for more than two decades, according to the International Herald Tribune. But now, that growth has stopped.
Research gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that while 16% of children and teenagers are obese a significant number that number hasn't increased since 1999.
While much attention has been given in recent years to children's consumption of fast food and additives such as high-fructose corn syrup, researchers aren't sure why the plateau has occurred. The article says it isn't clear whether the pause in weight gain would be permanent or had anything to do with public anti-obesity campaigns.
Dr. David Ludwig, director of the childhood obesity program at Children's Hospital in Boston, is quoted in the article, and perhaps sums it up best: "After 25 years of extraordinarily bad news about childhood obesity, this study provides a glimmer of hope."
Cynthia Ogden, lead author of the report, was quoted: "It may be that we've reached some sort of saturation in terms of the proportion of the population who are genetically susceptible to obesity in this environment. A more optimistic view is that some things are working. We don't really know."
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