For the first time in over 30 years, childhood obesity rates have dropped in many cities across America, both large (New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia) and small (Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Nebraska). It's the first good news on the matter in decades.
While the decline has been small—between 3% and 5.5% from 2007 to 2011—experts say that the numbers could indicate a national shift "that is visible only in cities that routinely measure the height and weight of schoolchildren" (from which all of the data has been culled), and more importantly, that the epidemic could be "reversing course."
Researchers don't know what is behind the decline. Some Debbie Downers point out that it could simply mean that fewer obese children are enrolling in school (maybe being home schooled due to bullying?). Experts doubt that anti-obesity campaigns like Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" and similar advertising do little to help the problem, and say that institutionalized policies, like those in Philadelphia, are more effective: