30% of all children in the United States are overweight. More than 25% are fat and in many cases dangerously fat. Belly fat is more dangerous for health than overall weight gain and could cause serious diseases. Teens and children have gotten 65% fatter around the tummies since 1999 in the United States, according to researchers from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York.
At the moment one third of all children in North and South America are overweight. Unfortunately this trend is spreading to Europe as well. According to a recent study, conducted by Professor Luis Moreno in Spain , 25% of the boys and 20% of the girls at the age of 13 to 17 in Europe are fat or overweight. The kids in Europe only eat around 7 oz (200 grams) vegetables and two fruits a day on an average. They also eat more fat than needed for their daily energy intake.
An interesting fact was that only 58% of the boys had the energy to sustain an hour of medium/high workout of physical activity and amongst the girls the number was even more depressing. Only 31% of the girls could put up with a medium high workout activity. Reports predict that 38% of all children in the European Union will be overweight by 2010.
This depressing trend will continue spreading to the rest of the world. It has been predicted that by 2010 more than 50% of all children in North and South America will be overweight according to a report in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity. The report was written by Dr. Philip James, Chairman of the International Obesity Task Force.
Dr. Philip James predicts that 25% of all children in China will be overweight by 2010. Other countries cited by him as having looming problems include many in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Egypt.
Experts say the two reasons for the increase in children’s body weight are diet and lack of physical activity. These overweight kids are running a high risk of having diabetes and heart diseases. They may also face social and emotional problems like loss of self esteem, social isolation and depression.
Around 40% of children between the ages of 5-8 years old are either obese, inactive, have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels. An obese child will most probably carry health problems into his/her adulthood. It has been said that 75% of obese teens will remain obese into adulthood. The health consequences of overweight and obesity include diabetes II, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, cancer and lower recovery chances from cancer.
Experts say that obesity will have an enormous impact on public health care and the economy. Obesity related diseases cost the U.S. more than $100 billion per year! We are the one paying, but not only with our money. We will all be living in a society filled with health problems and some will even pay with their lives.
What can we do to help our children? Where do we start? Please share your thoughts with us.