If you’re a parent who celebrates Christmas, right about now your kids may be dealing with a gnarly sugar hangover from all the cookies, gingerbread, pie, candy canes, and chocolate Santas--basically the same crap you've devoured, minus the mulled wine and spiked eggnog--that they've been gorging themselves on.
It’s hard to tell a kid no to junk food at Christmas, but signs are emerging we may be doing better at that overall. An encouraging new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that obesity rates among American children—particularly children from low-income families—have declined in recent years, marking a subtle reversal of a trend that’s been plaguing the country for more than a generation.
According to the CDC, obesity among America’s youth has almost tripled since 1980, accounting for 12.5 million kids and adolescents aged 2 to 19 (roughly 17 percent of that age group). Among low-income kids in preschool specifically, nearly one third is overweight and roughly one in seven is obese. Just like adults, obese kids are more likely to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, to say nothing of the psychological damage suffered at the hands of their often-less-than-circumspect peers. They are also more likely to stay obese into adulthood, when cardiovascular disease really starts kicking in.