As noted in The American Medical News online, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that more than a third of adults and 17% of children ages 2 to 19 are considered obese. But at least in the childhood obesity area, signs of declines in those rates are taking place in numerous cities, counties and states, said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“The good news is coming from places large and small,” Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey said. “It’s coming from rural North Carolina, New York City and Philadelphia. When I see that, I’m thrilled because what this tells us is we can reverse this epidemic. It tells us that we don’t have to accept 23 million children being overweight or obese.” The foundation has a goal to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity by 2015.
Reducing obesity rates is a challenging goal, Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey acknowledged.
“Although the rates are coming down in some places, they’re still far too high. And the progress that we’ve seen has not been shared equally,” she said. Most advances in reducing obesity rates have taken place among white children in affluent communities, with fewer successes seen among African-American, Latino and low-income children. “Frankly, that’s not OK. The benefits of being healthy have to be within the reach of all of our children,” she said.