Navigation Links
Child Obesity Soaring in Rural America
Date:4/9/2010

In one Louisiana community, one in two kids is now overweight or obese, study finds

FRIDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- In the past 35 years, the percentage of overweight or obese children in one Louisiana town has more than tripled, new research shows.

In the early 70s, fewer than one in six children (14.2 percent) in the town of Bogalusa was overweight or obese. By 2008-2009, almost half of the town's children and teens (48.4 percent) fell into those categories, according to a study in the April issue of Pediatrics.

The startling findings come on the heels of a more encouraging study, published in January in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), that found overweight and obesity rates across the United States appeared to finally be leveling off.

"These findings show that we still have a long way to go as a nation to get where we need to be with childhood obesity," said study author Stephanie Broyles, an assistant professor and epidemiologist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

"Our national goal was 5 percent for childhood obesity by 2010, and we're nowhere near that. This needs to remain a high priority," she said.

The JAMA study found that 16.9 percent of American children are obese.

In the current study, Broyles and her colleagues used data from the Bogalusa Heart Study, a long-term community-based study to assess the natural history and development of heart disease from childhood through adulthood. Bogalusa is a semi-rural town, according to the study.

At the start of the study in 1973, Bogalusa was a community of about 20,000 people, with 65 percent white and 35 percent black residents. In 2008-2009, the researchers found that the population had shrunk to about 13,000 people and was 57 percent white and 41 percent black.

Between the two study periods, the rates of overweight and obesity tripled in Bogalusa. The researchers didn't find any significant differences in the rates of overweight and obesity between the races. Data on family incomes and education levels weren't available.

Broyles pointed out that this study wasn't meant to single out Bogalusa, but to highlight a growing disparity between town and country. "Rural children may be more at risk for overweight and obesity," she said.

"In places like Bogalusa, you almost have a food desert. Access to whole wheat bread choices, fresh fruits and vegetables are typically more limited," she explained.

And, she said, she doesn't think Bogalusa is the only place experiencing unusually high levels of overweight and obesity in children.

Dr. Goutham Rao, clinical director of the Weight Management and Wellness Center at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, agreed that it's likely there are other areas of the country also experiencing substantially higher rates of childhood overweight and obesity. "What I'm hoping is that this study doesn't indicate that we have a growing dichotomy where a huge chunk of the country is getting better, but poorer, rural communities may be getting worse."

Although access to food and physical activity opportunities may be more limited in rural areas, Rao said parents shouldn't just resign themselves to having heavy kids. "There are a lot of things that families can do to reverse this problem. You're definitely more vulnerable because of your environment, but even in Bogalusa, not everyone is becoming overweight," he said.

Rao and Broyles recommended strategies such as limiting TV and computer time, encouraging physical activity and eating together as a family. They also recommended making healthier food choices whenever possible.

Broyles said that the communities and schools need to be involved, too. Schools need to offer healthy food choices and encourage physical activity. Communities can add sidewalks and parks and create safe places for kids to move around, she said.

"There many pieces to the puzzle," Broyles said. "It's not all on the shoulders of the parents. Schools have a role to play; the community has a role to play; and decision-makers and politicians have a role to play. Everyone needs to recognize that this is a really important problem."

More information

For more on overweight and obesity in children, including prevention advice, visit Nemours Foundation's KidsHealth.



SOURCES: Stephanie Broyles, Ph.D., assistant professor and epidemiologist, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.; Goutham Rao, M.D., clinical director, Weight Management and Wellness Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; April 2010 Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Children's National Hosts Fourth Annual Youth Anti-Violence Exhibition
2. Liver Disease May Go Undetected in Children
3. Thomas E. Mower Makes Generous Donations To Primary Children's Medical Center
4. Three Months after Haiti Quake, Life Still Perilous for Children
5. Children of combat-deployed parents show increased worries, even after parent returns
6. Eight-Year-Old Creates Mini-Documentary on St. Louis Children's Hospital Life
7. 90 percent of children with intermittent exotropia will become nearsighted by 20 years of age
8. The Child's Way into Literacy: A New Look at Scribbling and Drawing
9. New survey finds grandparents play key role in lives of children with autism
10. Childhood cancer survivors may face shortened lifespan, study reveals
11. New pyrimidine compounds may lead to improved treatments for childhood brain cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2017)... , ... March 29, 2017 , ... Hamlin Dental Group, ... is now offering laser dental treatments. Dental lasers are safe and effective options, and ... patients’ options and can improve the overall quality of care. , Dr. Hamid Reza ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... ... March 29, 2017 , ... AvePoint , the Microsoft Cloud ... location in Richmond, Virginia, located at the Riverfront Plaza, 901 East Byrd Street. AvePoint ... of Virginia Ralph S. Northam and Mayor of Richmond Levar M. Stoney. , Founded ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... For many women, getting birth control isn’t as easy as it ... either don’t have access to a health care facility or a pharmacy within 60 minutes ... the United States or for many who are faced with health or personal issues that ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... ... representatives in state legislatures and Congress to protect parental rights and civil liberties, ... and safety in America. , The demonstration coincides with a press conference taking ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... Medforce Technologies, Inc., a leading provider ... has joined the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), the largest ... dying Americans of all ages and the caregiver who provide them with in-home ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) today released the ... out-of-pocket spending: According to ... average amount spent out-of-pocket for drugs continues to decline, ... down from 23% in 2006. Rising ... problem. Health plans don,t have unlimited funds to pay ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  Spiral Therapeutics, ... agreement with Bionure Farma, S.L. for the worldwide ... to BN119 in the field of otolaryngology for ... sales-based royalties. The agreement provides Spiral with ... with a differentiated product profile. Under the terms ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , USA, March 29, 2017 Stryker announced ... Cares by People magazine, in partnership with Great Place ... companies on the list. This list highlights the top ... succeeded in business while also demonstrating respect, compassion and ... To determine the companies on the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: