The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.1, 2
In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.1
Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors.3 Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.4
Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories …show more content…
Not surprisingly, obese children are more likely to be obese adults. Overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults and at risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and some cancers.
In nearly half of the cases where a child is obese, one or both parents were overweight as well. (Estimates indicate two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Adding to the problem, parents are in denial about their children’s weight, stating approximately 37 percent of the time in the case of children ages 6 – 11 and 56 percent of the time in the case of children 12-17 that their obese child was only “slightly overweight.”
The 2008 National Poll on Children’s Health conducted by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital confirmed parental attitudes toward obesity by showing that 40 percent of youths ages 6-11 whose parents described them as “about the right weight” were actually obese.
According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, an alarming 52 percent of U.S. kids between 6 and 17 do not engage in the type of rigorous activity that makes them sweat at least 5 days per week.
Ninety two percent of elementary schools don’t have daily physical education classes year round.
The typical American youth spends approximately four to five hours a day