According to the American Heart Association:
Among American children ages 2–19, the following are overweight or obese, using the 95th percentile or higher of body mass index (BMI) values on the CDC 2000 growth chart:
For non-Hispanic whites, 31.9 percent of males and 29.5 percent of females.
For non-Hispanic blacks, 30.8 percent of males and 39.2 percent of females.
For Mexican Americans, 40.8 percent of males and 35.0 percent of females.
These overweight children are likely to become overweight adults, at risk for all kinds of medical problems:high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, orthopedic problemsand many others. Along with these come body image issues, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
The causes? Well, it is really very simple. They are eating more calories than they are burning off. We can at least blame a couple of things: fast foods, high in fat and calories, and processed and high carb foods eaten at home or school.
The second issue is exercise. I certainly remember coming home from school, changing into play clothes, and playing outside until dark! I walked to school, and rode my bike every day. Now many children go from school to the television, computer, video games, My Space, Facebook, and texting their friends.
Chef Jamie Oliver is doing something about it! "Jamie Oiver's Food Revolution" premieres Friday March 26 on ABC. In the series, he will go to Huntington, West Virginia, the "unhealthiest city in America" to change the whole town's eating habits. He will begin with their school system. Check out the video here: