Federal health officials reported on Tuesday that the childhood obesity rate in this country has dropped a whopping 43% in the last decade.
According to the survey, the obesity rate among children between the ages of 2 to 5 has plummeted. This is particularly welcome news, as scientists believe that the tendency toward obesity takes root at very young ages.
A number of factors may explain the surprising findings. A combination of state, local and national anti-obesity programs may be starting to have an effect in reversing a decades-long trend toward fatter Americans. First Lady Michelle Obama’s crusade to change eating and exercise habits may also have taken hold.. Children now consume fewer sugary beverages, and fewer calories overall, and they are getting more exercise.
Not so fast, counseled spokesmen for conservative political groups. It’s too early to credit the First Lady, whose efforts began after the trend to slimmer kids had already begun, said a leading Tea Party Republican strategist. And other factors may better explain the decline.
"We started cutting nutrition programs long before the Obamas got interested in the issue. Our push to reduce food stamps and unemployment benefits all had a big effect, too. And don’t forget the last six years of austerity that kept so many parents from getting back to work. Our program has succeeded where so many well-meaning but misguided initiatives by liberal do-gooders have failed.
"Nobody’s every found a weight-loss program that works as well as starvation."