percentage of overweight Americans appears to be increasing
dramatically. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System,
an ongoing national health study, showed that adult obesity
increased over 50% between 1991-1999. Other research has indicated
that a high number of children in the U.S. might be overweight.
The authors of a recent study in the Journal of the American
Medical Association determined obesity trends in over
8,000 children, ages 4 to 12, between 1986 and 1998. The prevalence
of overweight children increased over 120% among Hispanic
and African-American children and over 50% among Caucasian
children in the 12-year study. Nearly one-quarter of Hispanic/African-American
children and roughly one-eighth of Caucasian children were
considered overweight in 1998.
Obesity can lead to multiple problems if persisting until
later in life, including a severely increased risk for diabetes,
heart disease, and some cancers. In addition, obesity can
damage a child psychologically due to taunting from peers,
and can form poor life-long eating habits. If you have children,
talk to your doctor about sensible nutrition and exercise
guidelines to keep them healthy for a lifetime. To read more
on pediatric health, head to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/pediatrics.
Strauss RS, Pollack HA. Epidemic increase in childhood overweight,
1986-1998. Journal of the American Medical Association
2001:286(22), pp. 2845-2848.