Obesity rates drop for 2- to 5-year-olds

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Obesity rates in children 2 to 5 years old have decreased significantly over the past decade, according to a new study published Tuesday.

While there were no significant changes in obesity rates for most ages between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012, researchers saw a 43% decline in this group’s rates — from 13.9% to 8.4%, according to the study published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

A big part of a child’s obesity risk is already established by age 5, according to the study published in January.

The study findings were announced the same day as first lady Michelle Obama proposed new rules to limit the types of foods and beverages that can be advertised in schools and marked the fourth anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative to combat child obesity.

Under the suggested federal regulations, companies would no longer be permitted to use logos of high-calorie products such as regular sodas on cups, vending machines or posters.

The move is part of the first lady’s ongoing efforts to combat childhood obesity in America.