Report: Upward Trend in Child Obesity Levels -

About MidSouth Food Bank

Report: Upward Trend in Child Obesity Levels

A newly released multi-year study on childhood obesity rates published in Pediatrics reveals that despite a previous trend shown in studies that the problem was improving, its trajectory has reversed course.

In 2015-2016, almost 14 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds were mildly obese. That statistic is up from 9 percent in 2013-2014. While childhood obesity is typically a precursor to long-term health problems, and most commonly diabetes, obesity is often a sign of food insecurity.

More to the point, food-insecure households tend to eat more of the least expensive food, which is high in sugars, leaving the consumer on empty calories and devoid of necessary nutrition. Mid-South Food Bank’s child hunger programs effectively tackle this obstacle. Both its Food for Kids Backpack program, Family Food Boxes and Kids Café’s contain food items that are over 90 percent in high nutritious value and are also menus prescribed a dietitian.

As cited in a Feb. 26 US News & World Report article, Dr. David Ludwig, co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital says that the remedy is a comprehensive approach, from food selections at home and at school as well as adequate exercise.

“Let’s adequately fund physical education and school lunches,” Ludwig said. “… {and} keep the junk food out of the house.” 

Mid-South Food Bank’s child hunger program enables several hundred children to receive nutritious weekday dinners at its Kids Cafes inside local Memphis Boys and Girls Clubs, as well as over 2,000 children every week through its BackPack program which provides six self-serving meals every weekend throughout the school year. Additionally, its Family Food Boxes help entire families with meals during the summer when schools are on break.                                     

Posted by Andrew Bell at 11:31 AM
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