Obesity on the Rise
Twenty years ago,
approximately 6 percent of children and teenagers in Canada and
the U.S. were considered overweight. Today, the rate is over 15
The biggest concern for Doctors back then was chickenpox. Now,
many teenagers are 30 pounds overweight with more health problems
than ever before.
"The combination of watching too much TV and eating junk food
if you'll pardon the pun feeds itself," Dr. Gerald
Hass, a physician in Boston says.
There are new figures showing he's not alone.
Fifteen percent of the nation's children and teenagers are considered
overweight, the American Heart Association announced today. That
number has grown from 6 percent 20 years ago, and those numbers
add up to a crisis.
Increasingly, doctors say, they're seeing children with adult
diseases high blood pressure, clogged arteries and type-2
To some extent, they blame the children's appetites, but they
say larger culprits include parents, fast-food restaurants, a
fast-paced society, and schools that neglect their students' health.
In 2001, only a third of high school students went to a daily
"Our physical education programs have been replaced in many
states and instead they've been replaced by vending machines that
offer soda and candy bars," said Dr. Robert Bonow of Northwestern
Memorial Hospital in Chicago, who is also president of the American
From Fat Teens to Fat Adults
And today's obese teenager is tomorrow's obese adult. Half of
today's overweight kids will never manage to get back to a healthy
"Children will form the next wave of this epidemic," Bonow said.
Epidemic is the word. This month, when Men's Fitness
called Houston the nation's fattest city, it was the third year
in a row.
Houston took exception, but also took the insult to heart.Lee
Labrada, a former Mr. Universe, is now Houston's official "fitness
"I believe that every American city has cause for concern with
this problem of overweightness and obesity," he said.
Doctors say the solutions are not easy just urgent.
Kids need an hour of activity a day, and they need to eat better.
A 12-year-old who has a burger, large fries, and a soda for
lunch gets enough calories to last the next day and a half.
Reference Source 104