Childhood obesity problem in US is getting worse, not better

Childhood obesity in the U.S. is a growing problem.

That’s the troubling conclusion of a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers analyzed data from 1999 to 2016 on more than 3,000 kids from the federal government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which tracks childhood obesity.

Their findings refuted other reports that obesity in 2- to 19-year-olds was holding fast or improving.

“Despite previous reports that obesity in children and adolescents has remained stable or decreased in recent years, we found no evidence of a decline in obesity prevalence at any age,” researchers led by Asheley Cockrell Skinner of Duke University wrote.

15 PHOTOS
Health Rankings: Bottom 15 states
See Gallery
Health Rankings: Bottom 15 states

36. Florida

Overall score: -0.307

(Photo via Getty Images)

37. Missouri

Overall score: -0.338

(Photo via Shutterstock)

38. New Mexico

Overall score: -0.363

(Photo via Getty Images)

39. Indiana

Overall score: -0.372

(Photo via Shutterstock)

40. Ohio

Overall score: -0.391

(Photo via Getty Images)

41. Georgia

Overall score: -0.464

(Photo by Sean Pavone via Getty Images)

42. South Carolina

Overall score: -0.531

(Photo via Getty Images)

43. West Virginia

Overall score: -0.595

(Photo via Getty Images)

44. Tennessee

Overall score: -0.626

(Photo via Alamy)

45. Kentucky

Overall score: -0.651

(Photo by Henryk Sadura via Getty Images)

46. Oklahoma

Overall score: -0.691

(Photo via Getty Images)

47. Alabama

Overall score: -0.793

(Photo via Getty Images)

48. Arkansas

Overall score: -0.834

(Photo by Wesley Hitt via Getty Images)

49. Louisiana

Overall score: -1.043

(Photo via Alamy)

50. Mississippi

Overall score: -1.123

(Photo via Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

“In contrast, we report a significant increase in severe obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years since the 2013–2014 cycle, a trend that continued upward for many subgroups.”

Data shows that percentage of children aged 2 to 19 years old who are obese increased from 14% in 1999 to 18.5% in 2015 and 2016.

Things were worse for younger kids. The obesity rate in children aged 2 to 5 jumped from 9% to 14%, bringing them to their highest level of obesity since 1999, researchers noted.

Obesity is highest in African-American and Hispanic children, the study found.

Too much junk food and too little exercise have been previously cites as culprits for the unhealthy trend of childhood obesity.

15 PHOTOS
Health Rankings: Top 15 states
See Gallery
Health Rankings: Top 15 states

15. Idaho

Overall score: 0.356

(Photo by Darin Fan via Getty Images)

14. Rhode Island

Overall score: 0.422

(Photo by Kenneth C. Zirkel via Getty Images)

13. New York

Overall score: 0.430

(Photo via Getty Images)

12. Nebraska

Overall score: 0.432

(Photo via Shutterstock)

11. North Dakota

Overall score: 0.473

(Photo by Joe Sohm via Getty Images)

10. Colorado

Overall score: 0.559

(Photo via Getty Images)

9. New Jersey

Overall score: 0.571

(Photo via Shutterstock / Andrew F. Kazmierski)

8. Utah

Overall score: 0.578

(Photo via Getty Images)

7. Washington

Overall score: 0.582

(Photo via Getty Images)

6. New Hampshire

Overall score: 0.696

(Photo via Alamy)

5. Vermont

Overall score: 0.709

(Photo via Getty Images)

4. Minnesota

Overall score: 0.727

(Photo via Shutterstock)

3. Connecticut

Overall score: 0.747

(Photo by Denis Jr. Tangney via Getty Images)

2. Massachusetts

Overall score: 0.760

(Photo via Getty Images)

1. Hawaii

Overall score: 0.905

(Photo via Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story