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The White House
Office of the First Lady
For Immediate Release

Obesity Rates on the Decline Among Young Children

New CDC study shows significant decline in prevalence of obesity over a sustained period of time

Washington, DC – As the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative celebrates its fourth anniversary, we are seeing real progress. A new study out this week shows that the rates of childhood obesity are beginning to decline among children ages two to five.  Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report showing a forty-three percent drop in the obesity rate among children of preschool age over the past decade. 

“I couldn’t be more excited by the news that obesity rates for 2-5 year olds declined by 43% over the last 10 years.  Progress of this magnitude can only be explained by the leadership and hard work we are seeing across this country,” Mrs. Obama said.  “From parents to teachers, doctors to community leaders, everyone is stepping up to make small changes that are having a huge impact – and today, healthy habits are becoming the new norm for our kids. We have a long way to go, but I am more confident than ever that we can give all our children the bright, healthy futures they deserve.”

This new report follows CDC’s findings from last summer, which showed that obesity rates among low-income preschoolers declined in 19 states and territories across the country. 

Getting kids off to a healthy start is absolutely critical to their long term health.   We have made early childhood a top priority of Let’s Move!.  In 2011, Let’s Move! Child Care was started to empower child care and early education providers to help give kids a healthy start to life.  The program encourages 1-2 hours of physical activity, reduce screen time, serve healthy food such as fruits and vegetables as snacks, no fried foods, and only non-sugar sweetened beverages like water and low fat milk, and support mothers who continue to breastfeed.

There is tremendous progress being made, but much work remains.  Simple actions by parents can have a major impact on their kid’s health.  As part of our continued efforts through Let’s Move! Child Care, here are four simple tips for parents who are working hard to keep their kids healthy:

  1. If you can breastfeed, breastfeed.
  2. Fill half your kids’ plates with fruits and vegetables.
  3. Serve your kids only water or low-fat milk.
  4. Make sure your kids get at least 60 minutes of active play every day.