THE REASON CHILDREN'S WEIGHT is on the government's radar is that the nation's obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades to the point that one in three children is overweight or obese.
Obesity medical costs — including in-patient care and prescription drug spending — are estimated at $147 billion.
The reason for this is that obese children can develop serious health problems. According to the Mayo Clinic, overweight children are at higher risk of developing:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Asthma and other respiratory problems
- Sleep disorders
- Liver disease
- Early puberty
- Eating disorders
- Skin infections
Social and emotional consequences include low self-esteem and bullying; behavior and learning problems; and depression.
“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake,” first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement.