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Childhood Obesity Epidemic Negates Other Progress

Due to the epic growth of childhood obesity in this country, the latest report on child welfare for 2003 produced by Duke University and the Foundation for Child Development concluded the health of kids is still declining. Why? The level of obesity has grown at such a steady pace -- tripling over the past three decades -- that it eliminated significant improvements in the health portion of the Child Well-Being Index (CWI). Even worse, researchers expect the declining health of kids to continue...

The obesity epidemic, which spurred the declining health statistics of American children, overshadowed much good news in the report:

  • Adolescent women were having far fewer babies.
  • Generally kids are smoking less.
  • Children are taking fewer illegal drugs than before.

Nevertheless, the foundation warned the rising rate of obesity among children "completely obscured all progress made in the health category, dragging it 17 percent below 1975 levels.

Not at all surprising, considering a study I posted last week that found the life expectancy of Americans already falls more than 20 years behind other developed countries, and may drop even more if the obesity epidemic continues to spread. I fear, if this epidemic is not reversed we will -- for the first time in history -- see children living shorter lives than their parents.

However, I believe parents and their kids will *wake up* long before then. Fortunately, you have plenty of free tools on my Web site to get your family started on the right path. Here's a few of the steps you can take to make that happen:

Another problem area identified in the study: The poverty rate for families with children which surpassed the 17 percent mark in 2003, the worst number in five years!

Washington Post March 30, 2005

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