Children's Health Is Threatened by Obesity

Susan Farley
Published Online: Saturday, May 1, 2004

A report from the Child Well-Being Index Project has shown that the single biggest health problem facing children today is obesity. Whereas the study found that children today are less likely to be involved in an accident than children in 1975, more children today are overweight, living in poverty, and attempting suicide than those surveyed in 1975.

If not for the weight factor, children today would show a health index improvement of 15%, but, because weight has become such an overwhelming factor in children's health, it has resulted in a health deterioration of 15%, compared with the 1975 index. Research has demonstrated that overweight children become overweight adults who face risks of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The report, released by the Foundation for Child Development, also notes that obesity is gradually overtaking tobacco use as the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

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