Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Childhood Obesity Numbers

It is a sad commentary on the health of American youngsters that we are cheering a leveling off of childhood obesity rates. Far too many children and teenagers are still overweight.

Tens of millions of young people will be at risk of illness and death unless this country commits to reversing, not just stabilizing, the epidemic.

The prevalence of obese and overweight children and teenagers has soared since 1980, and the heaviest children have added the most poundage. Now the upsurge appears to have paused, judging from some encouraging findings reported by federal health officials in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Their analysis concluded that childhood obesity hit a plateau from 1999 to 2006. Even so, a dismaying 32 percent of young people aged 2 through 19 were still judged overweight or obese as measured by body mass index, with roughly half falling into each of those categories. Their excess weight increases their risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.

Read more HERE

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