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Childhood Obesity

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a serious, growing condition that negatively affects the physical and mental health of adolescents. It is caused by excess body fat, and is generally triggered by the consumption of more calories than the body expends- also known as a “caloric imbalance”. Increased portion sizes, little physical activity, limited access to healthy, affordable, fast foods and a lack of education about eating right are all major contributors to the rising epidemic. Both the dietary choices and physical habits of adolescents are influenced by their surroundings, holding everyone accountable for promoting healthier life choices and reversing the rising statistics surrounding childhood obesity.

  • Within the past 30 years, the number of obese children in the United States has more than tripled
  • Nearly 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese
  • We are now consuming 31% more calories than we were 40 years ago- which includes 56% more fats and oils and 14% more sugars and sweeteners
  • Obesity is now among the most widespread medical problems affecting adolescents living in the United States
  • Obese children are likely to become obese adults, increasing their risk of lifelong health problems such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, Osteoarthritis, stroke, some forms of cancer, heart disease and many other severe diseases
  • More than 100,000 children ages 5 to 14 have asthma each year due to being overweight or obese
  • Between 1999 and 2005, the number of children hospitalized with a diagnosis of obesity almost doubled

Sources: www.letsmove.gov, www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm, http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/obesity_in_children_and_teens

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