Childhood Obesity: Rates Keep Rising

It’s rampant, as we know, just based on looking at kids on the street.  Numbers tell us that the rates of overweight and obesity have increased dramatically during the past two decades.  Unfortunately, with obesity comes higher rates of mortality.  This means that many of today’s children will end up experiencing severe chronic illnesses earlier in their lives, if they haven’t already.  As soon as obesity starts in childhood, there is greater tendency toward developing such conditions (coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes) later in life.

Obese children

Sadly, the rates are only increasing.  Prevalence has increased for children (ages 2-5) from 5.0% in 1976-1980 to 12.4% in 2003-2006, as evidenced by data from the NHANES surveys.  For children aged 6-11 years, prevalence increased from 6.5% to 17% and for ages 12-19, from 5% to 17.6%.

Strong evidence shows that once obesity carries through into adulthood, it’s a risk factor for atherosclerotis, cardiovascular events, and cardiac dysfunction, which is due to the correlation with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Reference:

NHANES data on the Prevalence of Overweight Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 2003–2006. CDC National Center for Health Statistics, Health E-Stat. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/overweight/overwght_child_03.htm)

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