Between 1999 and 2010, most boys and girls between 2 and 19 years old began getting more of their daily calories from muscle-building proteins and fewer from carbohydrates, which can easily spur weight gain when eaten to excess, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found.
Currently, the obesity rate for children in the U.S. under 18 is 17%.
According to the new report, boys' daily calorie consumption on average fell from 2,258 calories in 1999-2000 to about 2,100 on average in 2009-2010. Girls' intake dropped from 1,831 calories to 1,755 during that time period.
Carbohydrate consumption (such as breads, pastas, and potatoes) decreased among boys, from 55 percent in the earlier time period to 54.3 percent in 2009-2010. For girls, carbohydrates dropped from 55.8 percent of their total calories eaten to 54.5 percent.
These declines in carbohydrates were not seen among black girls and Mexican-American girls, however. This is possibly due to the difference in ethnic foods.
Sharon Zarabi, a nutritionist/fitness trainer at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, believes that Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign may have increased awareness of the obesity epidemic and encouraged children to eat more nutritious foods and boost their activity.