The fact is we have a childhood obesity and overweight epidemic.
- 32% of American children and adolescents are overweight or obese. In the combined years of 2003 to 2006, 16.3% of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 years were obese (NHANES survey).
- The childhood obesity rate over the past three decades has more than doubled for pre-school 2- to 5-year-olds and 12- to 19-year-olds, and it has more than tripled for children ages 6 to 11 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Obesity is of great concern for minority populations.
- 28% of African-American girls ages 12 to 19 are obese, as are 20% of Mexican-American girls.
- 18.5% of African-American and 22% of Mexican-American boys are overweight or obese. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008).)
In Greater Rochester, N.Y., a recent study showed that nearly 40% of children ages 2 to 18 living in the city are overweight or obese, and in the suburbs it’s 25% (study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Golisano Children’s Hospital and funded by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation).
Why the concern? Because obesity increases the risk of other diseases and health conditions, such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol