Severe childhood obesity on the rise in U.S., study shows

According to; By/ Jessica Firger: Childhood obesity is on the rise in the U.S. after all, according to a new report published in JAMA Pediatrics. Most alarming, the study finds an increase in the number of children with severe forms of obesity, whose body mass index measured 120- to 140-percent higher than children of average healthy weight.

The analysis is based on 14 years of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 26,690 children aged 2 to 19.

“Kids in the most severely obese group really need treatment that is medical treatment,” Dr. Asheley Cockrell Skinner, the lead author of this study and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, told CBS News. “There are a lot of programs that are family based, lifestyle programs for families that need to learn a lot.”

The study’s findings may take many by surprise, given a recent highly-publicized report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in February in JAMA, which found obesity rates have declined in children aged 2 to 5, by as much as 43 percent.

The paper found 17.3 percent of children ages 2 to 19 were obese in 2011 to 2012. Among this group, 5.9 percent of children met the guidelines for class 2 obesity, while 2.1 percent of children met class 3 guidelines.

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