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Obesity Prevalence Down in Young Children Enrolled in WIC

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 -- From 2010 to 2016, there was a decrease in the prevalence of obesity among children aged 2 through 4 years enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), according to a research letter published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Liping Pan, M.D., M.P.H., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends in overweight and obesity by age, sex, and race/ethnicity using WIC data from 2010 to 2016. Data were included for 12,403,629 children aged 2 through 4 years enrolled in WIC.

The researchers found that from 2010 to 2016, the overall crude prevalence of obesity decreased from 15.9 to 13.9 percent (adjusted prevalence ratio, 0.88). During the same period, the adjusted prevalence of overweight or obesity decreased from 32.5 to 29.1 percent (adjusted prevalence ratio, 0.90). Statistically significant decreases were seen in prevalence overall and in all age, sex, and racial/ethnic subgroups for overweight and obesity combined and obesity alone. Significant tests of interaction were observed, with the greatest relative reductions among boys and Asian/Pacific Islander children.

"Reasons for the declines in obesity among young children in WIC remain undetermined but may include WIC food package revisions and local, state, and national initiatives," the authors write.

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Posted: June 2019

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