Parents Should ‘Take Immediate Action’ To Address Obesity Among Young Children, Editorial States
"All parents, regardless of race, should be alarmed" by the recent finding that
"[m]ore than half a million 4-year-olds are obese, and [that] the numbers are even more startling among children of color," a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial states (Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/25). The study, published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that 31% of American Indian children, 22% of Hispanic children, nearly 21% of black children, 16% of white children and 13% of Asian children were obese (Kaiser Health Disparities Report, 4/25).
The "study did not explore reasons for the racial disparity. But other research has shown that minorities are at a higher risk of obesity because they generally live in poor households, eat diets high in fat and calories, and have less-educated parents," according to the Inquirer. "The differences by race at such an early age surprised researchers," the editorial adds, noting that the "study is believed to be the first analysis of national obesity rates in preschool kids in the nation's five major ethnic or racial groups."
Parents should "take immediate action to put their children on a healthier track. That means providing kids with more nutritious meal choices, limiting junk food and encouraging them to exercise more than their fingers punching a computer game's keypad," the editorial concludes (Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/25).