Promoting Healthy Weight for Young Children: A Blueprint for Preventing Early Childhood Obesity in North Carolina (2013)


The North Carolina Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, which collects data on low-income children ages 0-5 years, shows that the obesity epidemic affects even the youngest individuals in the state. Roughly 3 out of every 10 young low-income children ages 2-4 years are either overweight or obese in North Carolina. Children who are obese by age 6 years or overweight by age 12 years have greater than a 50 percent likelihood of becoming obese adults. According to a 2013 report by the Trust for America’s Health, almost a third of adult North Carolinians are obese. More than 70 experts and stakeholders from across the state worked as part of the NCIOM Task Force on Early Childhood Obesity Prevention (ECOP), which was a collaborative effort between the BCBSNC Foundation, the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC), and the NCIOM. The report issued recommendations that would bring together parents, child care providers, health professionals and the community to promote healthy eating and physical activity in children. The recommended strategies focus on improving the treatment and preventing early childhood obesity through health care providers, encouraging healthy activities in child care settings, leveraging community resources to promote healthy eating and exercise and expanding the collection of physical activity and nutrition data.