Childhood Obesity

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Topic Contributors

  • American Heart Association

  • Office of the Surgeon General

  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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Childhood Obesity Information

Close to 20 percent of U.S. kids and teens are now obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and childhood obesity has become a national epidemic. Overweight children face serious health issues, and if the current trend continues, this generation will be the first to live sicker and die younger than their parents.

Across the country, people are focused on reducing childhood obesity and improving the health and wellness of overweight children. Fortunately, research suggests these childhood obesity prevention efforts are making an impact: After many years of increasing, childhood obesity rates seem to have leveled off. In 2013, several states and cities reported a decline in childhood obesity rates among some populations—the first drop in decades.

However, the crisis is far from over, and one-third of children and adolescents remain overweight or obese. Reducing childhood obesity remains as important to families and communities as ever. That’s because childhood obesity has many serious repercussions. Studies show overweight children have less energy and a harder time focusing in school. Overweight kids are also more likely to be obese adults. As adults, they’re more likely to develop health problems, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and stroke. And more and more overweight children are being diagnosed with these same serious health conditions.

The good news is that reducing childhood obesity is within reach. Parents can help overweight children by setting a good example and making a family commitment to healthy living. This Childhood Obesity topic includes information, videos and a variety of childhood obesity prevention resources that can empower you to help your overweight child toward a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Childhood obesity is a serious, but reversible health issue. Please take some time to explore this section of our website.