All of this is due, of course, to the First Lady's "War on Fat Kids" (aka, "Let's Move!"). The battlefronts where Mrs. Obama has waged this war include:
- requiring fat kids to eat healthier foods (remember the new "food plate" that replaced the "food pyramid"?);
- restricting their intake of soda (remember the "Food Police" taking their stations in the nation's public schools?); and,
- limiting the consumption of processed foodstuffs (aka, those death inducing "trans-fats").
Data released in February by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association provided Mrs. Obama all of the ammunition she needed to go out on the stump to tout the success of her battle plan. She left town after having fired up all of the anti-obesity activists to continue executing their mission in her absence.
Unfortunately, a Reuters' article reports that experts have examined the CDC data and, lo and behold, guess what they found? The PreK obesity rate has not dropped. No, it might have even risen!
Here's how the CDC derived its findings:
- The CDC study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) which has been conducted every year since the 1960s. NHANES involves in-person interviews as well as physical exams.
- The CDC defined obesity as having a body mass index (BMI, which is a ratio of weight to height) above 30. The calculation differs somewhat for children whose obesity measurement depends on age and sex.
The CDC's findings:
- In the 2003-2004 study, the obesity rate was 13.9% for preschoolers.
- In the 2011-2012 study, the obesity rate dropped to 8.4%.
Hence, Mrs. Obama's scripted claim of "progress" in her War on Fat Kids.
However, the margin of error for the 2003-2004 year was large (+/-3.4 points), meaning that the actual PreK obesity figure could have ranged from 10.8% to 17.6%. For 2011-2012, the margin of error was smaller (+/- 2.8 points), meaning the actual PreK obesity figure could have ranged from 5.9 percent to 11.6 percent.
Notice how those ranges overlap, indicating that it's entirely possible there was no change at all in the PreK obesity rate. Or, the rate could actually have increased.
To the naysayers: These findings are no statistical fluke, as similar studies demonstrate no similar decrease.
Perhaps that misrepresentation of the facts explains Mrs. Obama's "secret mission" to China. She's opening a new battlefront in her War on Fat Kids.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Reuters article, click on the following link:
"A Plunge in U.S. Preschool Obesity? Not So Fast, Experts Say."