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Childhood obesity has become a crisis that threatens to create millions....

old message Childhood obesity has become a crisis that threatens to create millions of unhealthy... Darrell Miller 10/22/05


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Date: October 22, 2005 01:39 PM
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Subject: Childhood obesity has become a crisis that threatens to create millions of unhealthy...

Weighty Statistics

The numbers confirm what we can see ourselves near any schoolhouse. According to the American Obesity Association, about 15.5% of adolescents (ages 12 to 19) and 15.3% of children (ages 6 to 11) are obese. Over the past 25 years, obesity rates have tripled in adolescents and doubled in children. Studies show that 70% of obese adolescents grow up to be obese adults and are at extreme risk for developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, some forms of cancer and other ailments. Early obesity carries psychological complications as well, including depression, anxiety and poor socialization skills. This will all have a huge impact on public health down the road. Primarily due to the children’s obesity epidemic, today’s youth is projected to be the first American generation ever with a shorter life expectancy than that of its parents. Unless society acts soon, we’ll be referring to this group of American kids as Generation F- for fat. Childhood obesity’s staggering complexity can seem paralyzing. With so many contributing factors, what should we attack first?

“The single greatest issue is probably inactivity,” Huckabee asserts. “Caloric intake of adolescents is not substantially different from what it was a few years ago, but the activity level is substantially different.”

A study conducted by the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill agrees, showing that in adolescents, caloric intake increased slightly (+1%) and physical activity dropped significantly (-13%) between 1980 and 2000.



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