New figures show that obesity rates among Colorado children aged 2 to 4 have dropped in the last three years.
The WIC program, a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, provides food and nutritional counseling to mothers. The agency measures and weighs children and infants regularly as part of the program, and the latest numbers show fewer of the children they support are obese.
Jennifer Dellaport works in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to help prevent early childhood obesity, and works closely with the WIC program. Dellaport says unhealthy weight in childhood can affect long-term health.
"Obese children tend to grow up to be obese adults, so anything we can do back on the timeline, earlier on, is going to protect a child from becoming overweight or obese later in life," says Dellaport.
Dellaport says obesity rates in the state are highest among children in northeast and southeast Colorado. She also says research shows infants who breastfeed are more likely to be a healthy weight.