June 13, 2018 (Wed)
Currently the U.S. childhood obesity rate is 18.5% among 2 –
19 year olds, with the rate of obesity increasing as age increases. Statistically
one out of every six children of the more than 12 million children living in
the U.S. are obese. Furthermore, research shows that those who are overweight
or obese as children are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults. Similar to obese adults, obese children are
at a greater risk of developing myriad of obesity-related health issues:
- High blood cholesterol levels and high blood
pressure, factors playing into cardiovascular disease
- Type-II Diabetes
- Sleep Apnea
- Orthopedic issues
While the etiology of obesity is complex there are countless
factors that play into someone’s risk of weight gain that leads to obesity.
Some basic influences and predictors of obesity are physical activity,
socioeconomic factors, consumption of empty liquid calories (i.e. sugary
beverages), family modeling and even excessive screen time. Current available
data shows that:
- 91% of American children have poor diets
- Less than ½ of American children achieve the 60
minutes of recommended physical activity
- Nearly 25% of American high school aged children
watch 3 or more hours of television
- Many schools have reduced gym time in favor of
academics, especially in middle and high school aged children
- Nearly 2/3 of the American youth report consume
a sugary beverage on any given day
- Steinberger J, Daniels SR, Hagberg N.
Cardiovascular health promotion in children: challenges and opportunities for
2020 and beyond: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.
- Rosinger A, Herrick K, Gahche J, Park S. Sugar-sweetened
beverage consumption among U.S. youth, 2011-2014. NCHS data brief, no 271.
Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2017.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Trends in the prevalence of physical activity and sedentary behaviors national
YRBS: 1991—2015. https://www.cdc.gov/
healthyyouth/data/yrbs/pdf/trends/2015_us_physical_trend_yrbs.pdf. Accessed June
- American Academy of Pediatrics. The crucial role
of recess in school. Pediatrics. 2013; 131:183-188.