Childhood Obesity is a Serious Public Health Epidemic:
• During the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, increasing almost fivefold among children ages 6 to 11.
• Today, more than 33 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese. That’s nearly 25 million kids and teenagers.
• If we don’t act to reverse this alarming trend, we’re in danger of raising the first generation of American children who will be more prone to illness and may die younger than the generation before them. Preventing obesity during childhood is critical, because habits that last into adulthood frequently are formed during youth. Research shows that obese adolescents have up to an 80 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults.
Facts on Children and Exercise:
• It is estimated that 22 million of children under 5 years old are overweight or obese.
• To be fit and healthy, children should get at least 1 hour of exercise per day.
• 20 percent of children are obese, according to the National Diabetes Education Program.
• The percentage of obese kids has more than doubled over the past 30 years.
• Obesity and morbid-obesity are up 36 percent and 98 percent, respectively, in the past 20 years.
• Exercise is so important that everyone should schedule it into every day of the week.
• Many schools have dropped or reduced PE programs. Only 8% of elementary schools, 6.4% of middle/junior high schools, and 5.8% of high schools offer daily PE classes.