Over the last 4 decades, the prevalence of obesity among preschool children has more than doubled, from 5% in the late 1970s to over 12% by the early 2000s. By 2009, 27% of preschoolers nationwide were overweight and 12% were obese.1
Many factors including physical activity, nutrition, and sleep can contribute to obesity in early childhood. ASSO’s 2009 obesity prevalence study found that 22% of Australia children were obese when first entering school (3-7 years of age).
These statistics suggest a lifetime of obesity for alarming proportions of the United States population as these children age. Weight gain and obesity in early life are known to be highly predictive of weight as children get older and eventually become adults.
For more information about Early Childhood obesity, please refer to the Blueprint.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) 2009-2010. 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/obesity_child_09_10/obesity_child_09_10.htm.
- Anderson SE and Whitaker RC. Prevalence of obesity among U.S. preschool children in different racial and ethnic groups. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2009. 163(4):344-348.