This tragic disturbing I don't know what words to use trend: children are becoming severely obese at a rate 3 times what it was 25 years ago.
from this tweet:
KathleenShowRT @ DrAyala Study: Rates of SEVERE childhood obesity tripled, putting many kids at risk for diabetes and heart disease http://bit.ly/1W26hH
Children are not only becoming obese, but becoming severely obese, which impacts their overall health," said Joseph Skelton, M.D., lead author and director of the Brenner FIT (Families in Training) Program. "These findings reinforce the fact that medically-based programs to treat obesity are needed throughout the United States and insurance companies should be encouraged to cover this care."
Researchers also looked at the impact of severe obesity and found that a third of children in the severely obese category were classified as having metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for heart attack, stroke and diabetes. These risk factors include higher-than normal blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels.
"These findings demonstrate the significant health risks facing this morbidly obese group," wrote the researchers in their report. "This places demands on health care and community services, especially because the highest rates are among children who are frequently underserved by the health care system."
The kids are generally poorer and many are from minority group populations.
I think it bears repeating that PREVENTING this has got to be a paramount goal, because those dollars are usually pennies in comparison with treatment of obesity itself or the fallout of other associated diseases.
We can debate the causes - I think HFCS, fast food, lifestyle could all be considered here. But it's clear what the preventative medicine should consist of: change in intake and a change in lifestyle to increase exercise and reduce stress. Otherwise it's clear health costs and costs for society in loss of productivity and quality of life for millions will be the result - we will be paying for these poor suffering kids for years to come if we don't!