Often overlooked due to its paradoxical nature, the co-existence of obesity and malnutrition is becoming more prevalent across the nation and the world. Once thought of only as a high-income country disease, obesity has entrenched itself in low-income, urban settings including many developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) children in financially disadvantaged environments often receive inadequate nutrition as infants and toddlers who are then provided with calorically-dense and micronutrient-poor foods as children and young adults. Consequently, nearly 43 million children under the age of five were reported overweight in 2010.
Despite having historically low obesity rates in our state, Colorado is no exception. According to the 2008 Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, 23.8% of our low-income children between the ages of 2 and 5 are overweight or obese. While federal food assistance programs offer education, resources and support that help to combat this growing epidemic; additional individual and societal actions must occur to successfully promote and sustain a well-nourished nation.