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Childhood Obesity: No Major Shift?
By Erika Edwards
(NBC News) Just a few months ago a report from the Centers for Disease Control suggested obesity rates in young kids have plummeted, but that study only looked at the past decade.
When you incorporate data from the 1990s, researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill say, it's a different story.
"For overweight and obesity there's generally not any change, there's certainly not the decrease reported before," says Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Asheley Cockrell Skinner.
That's because in 2003 there was an unexplained spike in the number of obese kids in the United States, so any subsequent drop still doesn't get below our lowest point.
Experts say childhood obesity rates have actually remained steady, if not gone up.
The number of children who are the heaviest has doubled since 1999.
"Kids on these really severe ends are the kinds of kids who, they're the ones who do get Type II Diabetes while they're actually teenagers," Dr. Cockrell Skinner adds.
This group makes up just two percent of all kids, but the latest data show 17 percent of children are obese and 30 percent are overweight.
The researchers say more resources are needed to help families lead healthier lives every day, which means everyone needs to change their eating habits and increase their activity.