Clearly, we’re dropping the ball here. A new report in Academic Pediatrics says the rate of severe childhood obesity has increased three-fold over the last 25 years, with the biggest jump among minorities living below the poverty level. Roughly 2.7 million kids in the U.S. are obese.
he research by Skelton and colleagues is the first of its kind to use the new classification and detail the severity of the problem. They found that the prevalence of severe obesity tripled (from 0.8 percent to 3.8 percent) in the period from 1976-80 to 1999-2004. Based on the data, there are 2.7 million children in the U.S. who are considered severely obese.
Increases in severe obesity were highest among blacks and Mexican-Americans and among those below the poverty level. For example, the percentage of Mexican-American children in the severely obese category was 0.9 percent in 1976-80 and 5.2 percent in 1999-2004.
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.
No doubt. It’s scary, but hardly surprising. In January, a study found more Americans have multiple chronic illnesses—like cancer, heart disease and diabetes—now, then ever before. Eek!
Image credit: Katya Killer of Light