Obesity report card shows some decreases

NEW YORK (CNN) – Obesity can cause a whole host of health problems from heart disease and stroke to diabetes and some cancers.

A new report card on obesity trends in America shows high marks in some areas and low scores in others.  That’s what a new study from the Journal of the American Medical Association is showing.

On the up side, a big drop in obesity rates in young children over the past decade.  Obesity rates in 2 to 5 year olds fell from 14% in 2003 to 8% in 2012.  A 43% decline, experts say, obese kids make obese adults, so the numbers are encouraging.

It’s not certain what the effects are of programs such as Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, and improvements in school lunches. Researchers say improvements were seen in low-income preschoolers who received meals from federal nutrition programs.

“Today folks are starting to think about what they eat and how active they are,” said Michelle Obama.

Close to 17% of children and teens were obese in 2012, about the same as a decade ago. In adults, obesity rates holding steady over the decade at about 1 in 3 people over age 20.  For women 60 and older, the rates have actually increased by about 20%.

The work to battle the bulge continues.

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