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Obesity rates among children decrease

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A new CDC study shows childhood obesity rates are beginning to drop. (SOURCE: CDC/Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, 2008-2011.) A new CDC study shows childhood obesity rates are beginning to drop. (SOURCE: CDC/Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, 2008-2011.)

(RNN) – A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows obesity rates among children are beginning to drop.

Research shows that from 2008 through 2011, obesity among low-income preschoolers declined slightly in 19 states and U.S. territories, while 20 states and Puerto Rico remained unchanged. Only three states saw slight increases in obesity rates.

Many of the states with declines in childhood obesity rates are ones that have "taken action to incorporate healthy eating and active living into children's lives," said Janet L. Collins, Ph.D., director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign promotes ways to help children live healthier lives.

"We know how essential it is to set our youngest children on a path towards a lifetime of healthy eating and physical activity, and more than 10,000 childcare programs participating in the Let's Move! Child Care initiative are doing vitally important work on this front," Obama said. "Yet, while this announcement reflects important progress, we also know that there is tremendous work still to be done to support healthy futures for all our children."

The CDC is encouraging state and local officials to step up efforts to drive down rates of childhood obesity by creating partnerships with groups that promote healthy lifestyles.

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