Over the last few decades the prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents has been steadily increasing in the United States drawing immediate concern for the coming generations and the overall health and well-being for society. While addressing this concern, a matter of significance has to be reviewed to undoubtedly warrant the attention of the nation and propose factors of government, community, organizational, and individual involvement. According to the Society of Behavioral Medicine, “Since 1960, overweight prevalence rates among children and adolescents have increased more than threefold. In 2003-2006, 16.3% of children and adolescents aged 2 – 19 years were at or above the 95th percentile and 31.9% were at or above the 85th percentile for age and sex based on the 2000 CDC growth charts.” (SBM). Below in Figure 1 taken directly from the CDC, is a chart helping put into perspective the dramatic increase of child and adolescent obesity from 1963 – 2008.
On a positive note however, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association using NHANES, “In 2011-2012, the prevalence of obesity in the United States was 16.9% in youth and 34.9% in adults. The overall prevalence of obesity among youth remained unchanged compared with that in 2009-2010 (16.9%),9 and there was no significant change since 2003-2004.” (JAMA). In as early as 2004 programs started to appear around the country that had begun to reach and educate and promote better healthy lifestyles for both adults and children. These programs have sprouted across the nation but as you can see it has only plateaued, and has yet to start to decline. Children still remain at an alarming high obesity rate that can furth...
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