"I am sorry sir, cookies are not a healthy choice," Grover said to Cookie Monster, a stern consternation eclipsing his Muppet eyes, in a Sesame Street book released last year. Despite cultural changes like the taming of Cookie Monster, which have been tough to miss, the newest numbers about U.S. obesity trends in the last ten years don't look great. They just made big news after a press statement by the CDC director and other officials, and the analysis will be published tomorrow morning in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The headlines just published in the last hour could be misleading or unduly triumphant:
Wall Street Journal: "U.S. Childhood Obesity Rates on the Decline"
The New York Times: "Obesity Rate for Young Children Plummets 43 percent in a Decade"
Some encouraging progress… obesity rates declining in 2 to 5 yr olds— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) February 25, 2014
"We continue to see signs that, for some children in this country, the scales are tipping," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a press statement, having a little fun with "scales" there. "This confirms that at least for kids, we can turn the tide and begin to reverse the obesity epidemic."