Minnesota was one of the 18 states with a sharp drop in obesity among low-income children, and state officials credited a series of public health campaigns dating to 2008.
The Minnesota Department of Health has partnered with school districts and child-care providers to improve nutrition in school lunches, worked with new parents to promote breast-feeding, which can cause lasting improvements in child health, and conducted other campaigns to improve prenatal and newborn health.
The obesity rate among low-income Minnesota children fell from 13.4 percent in 2008 to 12.6 percent in 2011, one of the sharpest drops nationally.
“We worked on trying to change the culture in the community,” said Dr. Edward Ehlinger, the state health commissioner. “If we can reduce the rate of obesity in children, we have a good shot among adults.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that state and local officials can create partnerships with community groups and child care providers to make changes that promote healthy eating and active living; Ehlinger said the state has already taken several recommendations from the CDC.