Public Health New Mexico
5:44 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Preschool Obesity Rates Drop Nationally

Children play after a healthy meal at Serendipity Day School in Albuquerque
Credit Rita Daniels

Young children are beginning to show signs of lower obesity rates – 43 percent over ten years, according to a new Centers for Disease Control Study.  

The study doesn’t break down the decline state by state, but the news doesn’t surprise Judy Baron.  She’s a co-director of the Serendipity Day School for 2 to 4 year-olds in Albuquerque.

“We place a lot of importance on the food we feed the children, and we have a really solid diet with low sugar; lots of fruits and vegetables," Baron said.  "We have a cook who cooks most things from scratch, so we don’t have a lot of processed foods with sugars that you don’t know about in them.”

A study last fall by the CDC found that from 2008 to 2011, New Mexico saw a drop in obesity rates of kids ages 2 to 4 whose parents were low-income.   New Mexico officials point to the Healthy Kids New Mexico initiative targeting obese children in 10 counties and four tribal communities as part of the reason.  The program focuses on getting more locally grown fruits and vegetables in the schools and establishing school gardens.

The Associated Press reports a child's weight before age five can determine whether they remain obese as adults.