OBESITY: 4-Year-Olds In Ohio State

OBESITY: 4-Year-Olds In Ohio State-Temple University Study Are Wildly Overweight
LINDSEY TANNER | April 6, 2009 09:03 PM EST |

CHICAGO — A striking new study says almost 1 in 5 American 4-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children, with nearly a third of them obese. Researchers were surprised to see differences by race at so early an age.

Overall, more than half a million 4-year-olds are obese, the study suggests. Obesity is more common in Hispanic and black youngsters, too, but the disparity is most startling in American Indians, whose rate is almost double that of whites.

The lead author said that rate is worrisome among children so young, even in a population at higher risk for obesity because of other health problems and economic disadvantages.

“The magnitude of these differences was larger than we expected, and it is surprising to see differences by racial groups present so early in childhood,” said Sarah Anderson, an Ohio State University public health researcher. She conducted the research with Temple University’s Dr. Robert Whitaker.

Dr. Glenn Flores, a pediatrics and public health professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, said the research is an important contribution to studies documenting racial and ethnic disparities in children’s weight.

“The cumulative evidence is alarming because within just a few decades, America will become a ‘minority majority’ nation,” he said. Without interventions, the next generation “will be at very high risk” for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other problems connected with obesity, said Flores, who was not involved in the new research.

The study is an analysis of nationally representative height and weight data on 8,550 preschoolers born in 2001. Children were measured in their homes and were part of a study conducted by the government’s National Center for Education Statistics. The results appear in Monday’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Almost 13 percent of Asian children were obese, along with 16 percent of whites, almost 21 percent of blacks, 22 percent of Hispanics, and 31 percent of American Indians.

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I didn’t know the numbers were so high. Im not surprised tho by the American Indians rate becasue I lived 5 miles from the Spokane WA reservation and saw what they had stocked on their store shelves. Lots of cheap carbo junk food that was overpriced for such a poor community. Makes me wonder how much of this is caused by poverty?

I think a lot of the problem is parents not being able to say no. You can buy healthy food cheap too. It’s easy to buy prepackaged and just toss your kids a bag of God-knows-what when you want them to shut up or when they throw a fit and want ice cream. People are just lazy- kids stay inside and watch tv all day, parents do nothing about it. Not to say it isn’t related to poverty- but you have to look at a lot of those poverty situations. I saw a lady at the grocery store use food stamps to buy a gallon of milk, and then she loaded up on 4 2-liter bottles of soda. It’s just not making wise decisions. It’s heart breaking too. These children will never have the opportunity to learn healthy habits from a young age and start life out without already being high risk for diabetes and other blood diseases. :frowning:

I am surprised about the break down though.

From experience, Indians never eat healthy or in a normal diet, they eat anything they want and not care about the consequences. Also some kids have no other choice in the matter… parents really don’t think things through and some even are malnourished. But hey… reserve life…