The Exploding Obesity Epidemic Among Children in America

New numbers from the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show a devastating rise in obesity among Americans and, in particular, this nation's children.

A third of American children and young adults (ages 2-19) were either overweight or at risk going that way as of 2004, a jump of some 5 percent over just four years ago, to some 25 million. Adults are no slouches either, when it comes to gaining weight:

  • A near 4 percent rise among obese American men -- those who tip the scales at 30 or more pounds above their ideal weight -- to nearly a third.
  • The number of obese women staying the same at 33 percent.
  • Forty-five percent of black adults were considered obese, versus about 37 percent of Hispanics and some 31 percent of Caucasians.
  • Some 136 million American adults -- about two-thirds -- are obese.

The cold, hard facts were so alarming to the CDC, they've begun to realize just how serious this epidemic truly is, and how it may affect American children in so many devastating ways we never expected. The good news to be gleaned from this report: More people than ever are aware of these frightening numbers, which, I hope, will serve as a wakeup call before it's too late.

In the meantime, you have plenty of resources available on my Web site to begin reversing the childhood obesity epidemic in your home. A few to get you started:

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 295, No. 13, April 5, 2006: 1549-1555

USA Today April 5, 2006

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