According to the study called “Progress on Childhood Obesity,” obesity among low-income preschoolers declined from 2008 through 2011 in 19 of 43 states and territories studied, and Mississippi was one.
Obesity rates in low-income preschoolers, after decades of rising, began to level off from 2003 through 2008 and now are showing small declines in many states, according to the CDC. However, too many preschoolers are obese – about 1 in 8. The CDC says obese children are more likely to become obese adults and suffer lifelong physical and mental health problems.
State and local officials can play a big part in reducing obesity among preschoolers. The CDC offers the following suggestions:
• Create partnerships with community members such as civic leaders and child care providers to make community changes that promote healthy eating and active living.
• Make it easier for families with children to buy healthy, affordable foods and beverages in their neighborhood.
• Help provide access to safe, free drinking water in places such as community parks, recreation areas, child care centers and schools.
• Help local schools open up gyms, playgrounds, and sports fields during non-school hours so more children can safely play.
• Help child care providers use best practices for improving nutrition, increasing physical activity, and decreasing computer and television time.