A new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that childhood obesity has become more common in this country in recent years. Researchers at Emory University followed two nationally representative samples of children from kindergarten to fifth grade. One group of children was studied from 1998 to 2004, while the other group was followed from 2010 to 2016. A significantly higher percentage of children who were not obese entering kindergarten were obese by fifth grade in 2010 compared to non-obese kindergarten students in 1998. Children in 2010 also became obese at younger ages than the children in the 1998 group. Previous studies have shown that once children become overweight or even obese, it is very difficult to reverse that trend, so prevention of childhood obesity is more important than ever.