N.C. Health Report Links Rising Poverty To Negative Health

An annual report released today says too many of North Carolina's children start their lives too small and grow up too heavy.

The N-C Child Health Report Card also attributes several negative trends to a rising child poverty rate that topped 21 percent last year.

The report was compiled from federal and state data. It found
that 24-and a half percent of low-income children ages five through
eleven were identified as overweight in 2005 compared to
20-point-six percent five years earlier.

A failing grade also was given to the percentage of children
ages 12 through 18 who are overweight, which has increased from 26
percent to 27-point-three percent.

The percentage of low-birth infants rose from eight-point-eight
percent of newborns in 2000 to nine-point-three percent in 2005.
The percentage among nonwhite births reached 13-point-seven percent last year.

Low-birth is defined as those babies weighing five and a half
pounds or less.