Childhood obesity in retreat


There was some interesting news from the United States last week about trends in childhood obesity rates:

Federal health authorities … reported a 43 percent drop in the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade … About 8 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds were obese in 2012, down from 14 percent in 2004.

This result is important for two reasons: (i) overweight or obese children at 3- to 5-years-old are five times as likely to be overweight or obese as adults; and (ii) based on the most reputable obesity survey in the US, the drop in early childhood obesity is the first significant decrease recorded.

If these results hold up the declining obesity rate result augurs well for the future, but what did we hear from our mainstream media, including the ABC and the Fairfax press?

Crickets, by and large.

But journalist Stephen Matchett, who blogs for the Sydney Institute, didn’t miss a beat on this important story. His take is this:

That any little children at all are obese is a disgrace, still, that many fewer are has got to be good news. But perhaps not for those who do not like the idea of weight being an issue people can do something about themselves.

This new US survey demonstrated that people understand they have the power to protect their children by acting on information about diet. And if they can do something for their kids they can do it for themselves, if they want to.

It seems the same Nanny Statists, who want to deny consumption choices of individuals through higher taxes and more stringent regulations, don’t like sharing the good news of individuals making choices for a better lifestyle without Nanny.


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