Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Obesity a Bigger Threat to Kids in Southern States

“A new study finds that nearly half of kids nationwide are now overweight (32 percent) or obese (16 percent), with rates of childhood obesity much higher in Southern states than in other regions. Mississippi had the highest rate of childhood obesity at nearly 22 percent of kids surveyed, while Oregon had the lowest at 9.6 percent. The most children in the "overweight" (but not obese) category were also in Mississippi, at 44.5 percent, while Utah with about 23 percent had the fewest overweight children. But the findings also offer a glimmer of hope that the epidemic of childhood obesity can be curbed. Singh noted that if strategies to reduce obesity used in states such as Oregon and Utah were applied to states such as Mississippi, ‘there is a strong potential for obesity reduction.’ Exercise, or lack thereof, seems to be a prime culprit. Children in the South tend to have ‘more sedentary behaviors, such as TV watching,’ Singh said. ‘The tend to also score lower on having access to places for physical activity,’ he said.”


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