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Childhood Obesity

Prevalence Statistics:

  • Obesity and its related diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are the number one health problems facing our country.
  • One out of every four children under the age of 17 is overweight or obese.
  • According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health roughly 2 million U.S. children ages 12 to 19 have a pre-diabetic condition linked to obesity and inactivity that puts them at risk for full-blown diabetes and cardiovascular problems. It is estimated that the lifespan of Generation XXL will be reduced by as much as 20 years. Researchers call for “intensive lifestyle interventions” as the solution.1
  • Nearly half of children in both North and South America could be overweight in just four years time according to an analysis on worldwide trends in childhood obesity by the International Obesity TaskForce (IOTF). The researchers said urgent action is needed to stop the rising trend.2

1 The study appears in November's Pediatrics, published Monday, November 14, 2005. It is based on data involving 915 youngsters who participated in a 1999-2000 national health survey.

2January 6, 2006, The International Journal of Pediatric Obesity

The Economic Impact:

  • Obesity-associated annual hospital costs for children more than tripled over two decades, rising from $35 million in 1979-81 to $127 million in 1997-99.3

3Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance. 2005. Institute of Medicine. www.iom.edu

Who is at risk for obesity-related diseases?

How do we define overweight and obesity in children and teens? Being overweight means that your child has a body mass index, or BMI, that is above the 95% for his or her age (BMI-for-age). A BMI of 85% puts them at risk for being overweight.

Visit http://www.cdc.gov to learn more about BMI-for-age, access a BMI calculator, and read FAQs.



BMI-for-age < 5th percentile
  Normal BMI-for-age 5th percentile to < 85th percentile
  At risk of overweight BMI-for-age 85th percentile to < 95th percentile

BMI-for-age > 95th percentile

What are the diseases associated with childhood obesity?

•  Type II diabetes
•  metabolic syndrome or prediabetes
•  high blood pressure
•  high TG and cholesterol values
•  depression
•  menstrual abnormalities
•  skeletal abnormalities
•  a future elevated risk for cancers such as breast, endometrial, colon, kidney, pancreatic, liver etc.

More alarmingly, it has been demonstrated that the complications of diabetes occur in an accelerated fashion when diabetes presents in youth . As young adults, our children will be at risk for early heart attacks, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation.

HELP offers a unique and powerful solution to treating and reversing childhood overweight and obesity in nine-to-nineteen-year-olds. Learn more about HELP.

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