Excess body fat can have a variety of harmful effects on the body.
A new epidemic is sweeping across the country and into our communities, and it's threatening the health and future of our children, as well as the future financial health and stability of our community's health care system.
Obesity and its associated illnesses are now infiltrating the youngest population--children ages five and under. In the past 25 years, the national prevalence of overweight children ages 2 to 5 has more than doubled.
The Alarming Reality of Childhood Obesity
The health consequences are serious and long term.
- Overweight children are at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type II diabetes-diseases once seen predominantly in adults.
- It's estimated that up to 70% of overweight schoolchildren will remain overweight into adulthood.
- Overweight or obese individuals are more likely to be depressed and suffer from chronic diseases.
- African American and Hispanic/Latino children, ages 5 to 19, are more likely to be overweight or obese than white and Asian children.
- The economic impact of this health crisis is equally dire; overweight children are more likely to become obese adults. Adult obesity costs the State of California taxpayers $25 billion each year.