Thursday, May 29, 2008

Childhood Obesity--The Washington Post's Five Part Series on an Important Issue

Last week, the Washington Post gave us a five part series on childhood obesity.

It made the point, which has been made here a number of times, that for the first time in our history American children are on their way to a shorter life span than their parents.

This comes on the heels of a report last month that 20% of American women have already seen a decline in their life expectancy largely because of obesity and smoking.

The Post series made a number of important points:
  • Obesity has tripled among children ages 6 to 11.
  • The average weight for boys and girls age 10 is 11 pounds more than it was in 1963.
  • Locally, almost a quarter of kids through age 17 in PG County MD, and more than third of kids in Loudoun County VA, are considered obese. In DC, 40% of kids are at least overweight.
  • Type 2 Diabetes has increased tenfold among children and teens and gallbladder disease has tripled in children ages 6 to 17.
As I have also said many times before on this topic, we need an offensive against obesity of all ages. Being fat is a dumb thing to let yourself become and letting your kids get just as fat as you are is worse than dumb.

A Post editorial put it more diplomatically: "What is needed is a champion to turn these disparate actions against childhood obesity into a unified campaign...Without clear and focused leadership––the kind that turned smoking from chic to undesirable––rising obesity among America's youth and the health problems that go with it will worsen."
Avoid having to check back. Subscribe to Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review and receive an email each time we post.

Blog Archive