The American Medical Association Journal reported this week that obesity has taken a downward turn in children for the first time in years.

Government researchers from the Centers for Disease Control, including Dr. Lipling Pan, reported that obesity and extreme obesity among children seems to be on the decline.   In the first national study of its type, involving  27 million children from 2 to 4 years of age revealed, a decrease in obesity from 15.21% to 14.94% was identified.  In addition, extreme obesity fell from 2.22% to 2.07%.  Obesity is defined as having a body mass index above the 95% percentile.  Extreme obesity is defined as having a body mass index above 120% of the 95th percentile.

After significant increases in childhood obesity were identified in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, First Lady Michelle Obama made it her platform issue and launched the “Let’s Move” Campaign.  Perhaps her efforts are having direct and indirect impact on this serious health issue.  In 2010, she told the Grocery Manufacturers Association at its DC meeting “We need you to step it up.”  She urged them to make high fat, high calorie foods aimed at kids healthier, such as Doritos and SpaghettiO’s.

Virginia Buchanan is a shareholder at Levin, Papantonio.  She has served on the Board of Directions of the Florida Bar Foundation and has been Treasurer of ABOTA, Chairperson of the Civil Process Server Grievance Committee and has been a member of the Chief Judge’s Council on Children. She currently is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Florida Justice Association.