Chubby babies on the decline, a promising sign for US obesity

CHICAGO — Chubby babies and toddlers at risk for later obesity are on the decline in a government food program serving millions of kids, a glimmer of good news in the nation’s fight to slim down.

The trend was found in a study on children up to age 2 enrolled in the WIC nutrition assistance program for low-income women and children. Half of all US infants up to 12 months old are enrolled in the program.

The portion of youngsters at risk for obesity fell during the study, from almost 15 percent in 2010 to 12 percent overall in 2014, researchers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The rate declined in all ages studied. It was lowest — about 8 percent in 2014 — for the youngest infants, aged 3 to 5 months, versus almost 15 percent among toddlers.

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