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Childhood obesity: Big problem

In 2009–2010, 16.9% of U.S. children and adolescents were obese.

In the past four decades, obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups. This rise in obesity rates has affected our youth in alarming fashion.

Childhood obesity has increased more than fourfold among those ages 6 to 11. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic. And this epidemic puts nearly one third of America’s children at early risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood. Even greater disparities exist among young Hispanics and children of color.

According to the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), release on August 2012, the prevalence of obesity was higher among adolescents than among preschool-aged children. The prevalence of obesity was higher among boys than girls (18.6% of boys and 15.0% of girls were obese).

The BRFSS said between 1999–2000 and 2009–2010, there was an increase in the prevalence of obesity among boys but not among girls. The prevalence of obesity among boys increased from 14.0% in 1999–2000 to 18.6% in 2009–2010. There was no significant change among girls: the prevalence was 13.8% in 1999–2000 and 15.0% in 2009–2010. There was no significant change in obesity prevalence from 2007–2008 to 2009–2010 overall or among boys or girls. (SOURCE: CDC)

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