The Centers for Disease Control say Missouri is a national leader in the declining rate of obesity among low-income pre-schoolers. 

Missouri is one of six states in which the obesity rate for these children has dropped by a full percentage point in a four year period through 2011. The obesity rate has dropped to 12.9 percent of the children in this category.  The lead author of the CDC report, Ashley May, says the trend could have long-term impacts on the lives of children.  She says obese students are about five times more likely to be obese adults than children entering school with normal weights. 

She says federal programs as well as programs in states and in school districts have launched anti-obesity programs that could pay off in other ways for those children.  She says they should help children avoid negative physical health issues that can come in later life.

The head of the CDC says childhood obesity remains an epidemic although, as he puts it, “the tide has begun to turn for some kids in some states.”  And Missouri is one of them.

AUDIO: Ashleigh Mays interview 10:45