DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa is among 19 states and territories that have seen declines in obesity rates among young, low-income children.
The slight decline found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention comes after decades of increases across the country.
Iowa Department of Public Health Director Mariannette Miller-Meeks says Iowa’s obesity rate among low income children, aged 2 to 4, fell from 15.1 percent in 2008 to 14.4 percent in 2011.
Miller-Meeks says although the declines are small, “for the first time in a generation, they’re turning in the right direction.”
The health department notes Iowa has used grants to fund programs encouraging healthy eating and better food and beverage options at recreational centers.
Health officials say overweight preschoolers are five times more likely than other children to be heavy as adults.