More than 23 million children and teenagers in the U.S. are obese or overweight, a statistic that health experts consider an epidemic. It’s such a critical issue that President Obama has proclaimed September, 2011 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
This is what kids are up against:
- Obesity increases the lifelong risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, stroke, certain kinds of cancer, and many other debilitating diseases.
- Researchers estimate that one out of every three males and two out of every five females born in the United States in the year 2000 will be diagnosed with diabetes.
- More than 100,000 children ages 5 to 14 have asthma each year because of overweight and obesity.
- If current adolescent obesity rates continue, researchers predict that by 2035 there will be more than 100,000 additional cases of heart disease linked to obesity.
- Between 1999 and 2005, the number of children hospitalized with a diagnosis of obesity nearly doubled; costs went up from $125.9 million to $237.6 million between 2001 and 2005.