Obesity Rates Fall Nationwide for Children Ages Two through Five

February 26, 2014

Local Efforts Continue to Maintain that Trend

A Journal of the American Medical Association study results were announced Tuesday indicating researchers saw a 43% decline in obesity rates for children ages two to five over a ten-year period. Obesity rates for this age group saw a decline from 13.9% to 8.4% between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012.

"We believe this data is indicative of the greater awareness of the link between adequate nutrition and physical fitness, and childhood obesity," said Julia Stanley, Program Coordinator for the Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative of Dane County, "It is important to note that obesity rates for all children under 19 did not fall significantly, meaning there is much work to be done on both the national and local levels."

The Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative (COPC) is a coalition of more than 90 partners working to develop and advance policies to improve the physical activity and nutrition environments for children in Dane County. Jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Transform Wisconsin since 2011, the collaborative includes community organizations, health care providers, health care systems, state and local government, educators, advocates and public health professionals.

Mayor Paul Soglin welcomed the good news, but cautioned against slowing down efforts. "We know that access to healthy, nutritious food at a young age is key to growing into a healthy, successful adult," he stated, "but, we also know that many children in our schools do not get adequate food, especially outside of the classroom, which is one of the major impediments to learning during the school day. We must support efforts of groups such as COPC working with a variety of stakeholders, to address these important issues for our children and families."

COPC has established five work groups with specific focus areas including: Infant & Early Childhood, School Nutrition, School Physical Activity, Community and Health Systems. The goal of each work group is to identify opportunities for innovation and collaboration to promote healthy eating and physical activity in the places Dane County children live, learn and play.

Contact:
  • Katie Crawley, Mayor's Office, 608-266-4611
  • Julia Stanley, Program Coordinator, Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative of Dane County, 608-890-6001