Preventing Childhood Obesity: The Nation Must Act Now, Or It Will Watch Its Children Grow Into Adults with Excessive Levels of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, And Other Weight-Related Ailments.
Issues in Science and Technology 2005, Spring, 21, 3
Issues in Science and Technology
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After improving dramatically during the past century, the health of children and youth in the United States now faces a dangerous setback: an epidemic of obesity. It is occurring in boys and girls in every state, in younger children and adolescents, across all socioeconomic strata, and among all ethnic groups. Traditionally, most people have considered weight to be a personal statistic, of concern only to themselves or, on occasion, to their physicians. Both science and statistics, however, argue that this view must change. As researchers learn ever more about the health risks of obesity, the rise in the prevalence of obesity in children--and in adults as well--is increasingly becoming a major concern to society at large and hence a public health problem demanding national attention. Since the 1970s, when the epidemic began to take hold, the prevalence of obesity has nearly tripled for children aged 6 to 11 years (from 4 percent to 15.3 percent), and it has more than doubled for youth aged 12 to 19 years (from 6.1 percent to 15.5 percent) and for children aged 2 to 5 years (from 5 percent to 10.4 percent). Although no demographic group is untouched, some subgroups have been affected more than others. Children in certain minority ethnic populations (including African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics), children in low-income families, and children in the country's southern region tend to have higher rates of obesity than the rest of the population.
- Category: Engineering
- Published: Mar 22, 2005
- Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
- Seller: The Gale Group, Inc.
- Print Length: 18 Pages
- Language: English