American teens may be getting the message that carrying excess weight isn't good for them.
New research shows that the number of obese teens leveled off and the rate of overweight teens dropped slightly between 2005-'06 and 2009-'10.
Teens reported eating more fruits and vegetables, eating breakfast on weekdays more often, and being more active. They also ate fewer sweets, drank fewer sweetened beverages and spent less time watching TV, according to the study.
"Over the past four or five decades, we've seen diets getting worse, physical activity on the decline and more obese teens," said the study's lead author, Ronald Iannotti, chairman and professor of exercise and health sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. "We would see the same pattern decade after decade. The good news is that it looks like in the first decade of this century, things are starting to get better."
The study looked at more than 34,000 adolescents in grades 6 through 10 during three time periods. The first group was studied from 2001-'02, the second from 2005-'06 and the final group from 2009-'10
Results of the study were released online Sept. 16 in the journal Pediatrics.