Typical American Lifestyle Tied To Shorter Life Expectancy For Children

child obesityMore than one third of U.S. children are considered overweight or obese. It's projected the number of the young people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will TRIPLE within the next 25 years. If present trends continue, one out of every three Americans born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime, which is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke ... and today a ten year old who has diabetes loses almost 20 years of life expectancy according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The national debate on the issue of childhood overweight and obesity has included holding fast food restaurants and food manufacturers responsible, limiting the availability of certain foods and beverages in schools and targeting children's advertising.

A Problem We Shouldn't Take Sitting Down ...

Another indication that our children are overweight even at an early age is the fact that more than 250,000 children are TOO HEAVY for standard car - safety seats. The April edition of PEDIATRICS points to the growing prevalence of childhood obesity citing statistics showing 5% of the nation's 3-year-olds weigh more than 40 pounds. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital looked into the incidence of overweight children when car seat technicians began having difficulty properly fitting more and more children in safety seats. The car seat industry has responded by making seats up to 4 inches wider and capable of holding children up to 65 pounds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is even working on creating overweight crash test dummies for testing child safety seats!

An Ounce of Prevention ...

"Preventing obesity is so much easier than treating it or its complications -- and if you think healthcare is expensive now what will it be when this generation of overweight and morbidly obese children suffer the obesity's complications over the next twenty years?" said Molly Droge, MD FAAP, Chapter President, Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

About Shaping America's Youth

Shaping America's Youth, is an initiative of Shaping America's Health: Association for Weight Management and Obesity Prevention, an organization that seeks to prevent excess weight and obesity and facilitate scientific understanding of weight management. For more information about this organization, visit www.obesityprevention.org or call (703) 253-4808.