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Severe obesity in kids on the rise
This chart shows the trends in prevalence of overweight and obese children between 1999 and 2012.
April 7th, 2014
04:01 PM ET

Severe obesity in kids on the rise

The decline of childhood obesity rates seen in a couple of recent studies may be nothing more than an illusion, according to a new study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

The researchers looked at data from more than 26,000 children age 2 to 19 in the United States who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found that rates of overweight and obese children have been trending upward since 1999, with significant increases seen recently in the number of severely obese children.

Severe childhood obesity rates have more than doubled since 1999, according to the study. In 1999-2000, less than 1% of children fell into the Class 3 obesity category - meaning they had a body mass index 140% higher than their peers. In 2011-2012, 2.1% of children were in the same category. An additional 5.9% met the criteria for Class 2 obesity.

"I think there's certain kids who are at greatest risk for obesity," said lead study author Asheley Skinner, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "When you put them in an environment like this one... they're more likely to gain a whole lot of weight. That's part of what's going on."

The risks associated with that extra weight are scary.

Obese children are more likely to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes later in life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They're also at risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and psychological problems due to poor self-esteem. Studies show that obese children and adolescents are likely to remain obese as adults.

A separate study published in the journal Pediatrics this week estimates an obese child will incur anywhere from $12,000 to $19,000 in additional medical costs throughout his or her lifetime compared to a normal weight child.

"What we worry about is not that they're going to be unhealthy now, but if they have unhealthy behaviors that are going to follow them into adulthood," Skinner said.

Body mass index for children is calculated a bit differently than it is for adults. While children's height and weight are still used, whether they are "normal," "overweight" or "obese" is determined by a percentile. Most parents are familiar with percentiles, as they are commonly used to chart children's growth in the United States.

A healthy weight child falls between the 5th and the 85th percentiles. An overweight child is the 85th to 95th percentile; an obese child is above the 95th percentile.

Researchers categorize the severity of obesity in levels or "classes." For example, a 10-year-old boy of average height - about 4.5 feet tall - would be obese at 95 pounds, Class 2 obese at 115 pounds, and Class 3 obese at 135 pounds.

Skinner and her colleague, Dr. Joseph Skelton, found that all classes of childhood obesity have increased over the last 14 years. The most significant increases were seen in the severe obesity classes, elementary school girls and adolescent boys. When broken down by race, obesity rates were highest for Hispanic and white girls, and African-American boys.

A few weeks ago, another JAMA study concluded obesity rates in preschool-age children have decreased significantly over the past decade. The study authors used data from the same survey as Skinner, but came up with different results. Why?

The key word is "decade," Skinner says.

The researchers for that study only looked at data from 2003-2004 to 2011-2012. Their starting point - 2003-2004 - is a "blip" in the data, Skinner says, where the rates shot up and then came right back down. Beginning with that year skews the overall pattern, making it look like a decrease. But Skinner, who looked at a longer period, found a slight upward trend.

The overall takeaway from this survey data is that too many children are still overweight or obese, Skinner says, despite education pushes and policy changes.

"It's frustrating to put so much effort into (fighting childhood obesity) and not get any apparent results," she said. "We really need to think about this as a larger, cultural issue."


soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Bob Hope's Ghost

    no jobs mean less money for fresh foods from the grocery store and more $1 menus at McDonald's and Burger king. Thanks obama

    April 7, 2014 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Terrence

      With few exceptions, fresh foods from the grocery are less expensive than takeout and processed junk food. I am not sure why the claim is repeatedly made otherwise, and speak from experience. Fresh foods do take more time to prepare into a meal, and it might be the case that some folks are just too lazy to cook. If I could have afforded time-saving fast food when I was a poor student, I would have done so.

      April 7, 2014 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      Less expensive per serving?

      There are various studies, some contradict others... whatever. There's still far more going on than the usual scapegoats.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • dike

      Unfortunately healthy food is expensive... It is a catch 22 for poor. Thats why you see most poor people obese and also cant afford health care and drains our system. There has to be subsidies for healthy food instead they want to call french fries as a serving of vegetables since there are potatoes in it...
      But it is not Obama's fault about Jobs. The Jobless rates had been on the increase because of the open Chinese market instated by Bush, so we can get cheap Chinese products and loosing jobs to the third world. The Job market has recovered now, still it is usually nothing to do with the current administration. Its the crazies who try to blame everything on Obama even if they cant conceive.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
    • gager

      Learn something about good nutrition before posting nonsense.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
    • ChangingTimes

      I think the problem is the lack of Time and Energy adults have to put toward cooking. The more homes with 2 working parent and single-parent (but working) homes we have, the less time/energy people have to preparing home-cooked, healthy meals. I know I'm guilty of this. When my kids were little, I was a stay-at-home parent (with a working spouse); we had home cooked, healthy meals every night at 6pm. I had the time/energy to do it and it was cheaper. Now that we both work, neither of us have the energy to cook real home-cooked meals. Plus, our kids are older and get home late from activities so we often eat late (not good for weight). We still eat at home as a family, but we rely on easy to prepare shortcut type meals. A lot of these foods are packed with extra sodium, fat, and sugar which all add up to extra calories. It sucks, but when you factor in work, helping with the ridiculous amount of homework, chauffeuring kids to/from after school activities, household work (cleaning/laundry/etc), then you see that cooking from scratch is the last thing on either of our minds. That's why we turn toward the easy packaged meals (hamburger helper, canned soups...especially for recipes, jarred sauces, and canned veggies).

      April 7, 2014 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      Rubbish, BobHopesGhost. I see obese kids every day, and they are usually the offspring of fat or obese parents. They eat the same awful food their parents do, not because it is cheap but because it's quick and easy. It takes time and effort to make wholesome, healthy food at home. A bag of dried beans, some cheap protein, some inexpensive veggies. But that is too much trouble, so they go to the taqueria, the pizza place, or a burger outlet.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • JAG

      Per ounce, fresh food is less expensive.
      It does take more time to prepare, which can be a problem when one parent is rarely around.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
    • Larry L

      Congratulations! You found a way to blame President Obama for kids being fat. Incredible.

      You may consider how the initiative by the First Lady to reduce childhood obesity was ridiculed by the right-wingers as a "nanny state" behavior. Come to the red states and you'll see fat parents and fat kids waddling down the super market aisles in search of anything but healthy foods.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • Trix

      This is in response to Changing Times post: Best comment I've seen so far.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:35 | Report abuse |
    • relmfoxdale

      I think there's confusion about what is "healthy." Can poor people afford organic quinoa or non-GMO locally produced kale? Probably not. Do they need to eat that food to not be obese? God no. They need to eat a balanced diet, keep their portion sizes under control, and–this is the fun part–cook. That food can come from a can, jar, or box, particularly if one is careful. Hell, families have eaten that way for decades. Frozen vegetables are generally healthier than fresh and are much easier to store.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      By 'Thanks Obama', are you being sincere? Because it only makes sense in that scenario. Complain all you want about everyone getting healthcare, but jobs have done nothing but return under Obama. Slowly, but they have returned. We lost MILLIONS of jobs under Bush, lest you forget.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:46 | Report abuse |
    • JG

      Though it is true that fresh food may be less per ounce, fresh food is not as dense in calories as those unhealthy, fast foods are. So, if you are on a tight budget it is easier to get more "food" when you buy processed, unhealthy foods. Also, those people in poverty tend to not have as many options on where to buy their food, so may not have good quality foods or affordable options for healthy foods.

      Also, kids do seem to be less physically active these days. They are still just as busy, if not more so, but many of their activities include sitting down in front of screens. Also, we have seen a decrease in PE requirements in public schools. There are many factors impacting childhood obesity. I hope we, as a society, can work to change it.

      April 7, 2014 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
    • Bethany

      *= ----–TO BOB HOPE'S GHOST– YOU NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA IS AT FAULT FOR THIS. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR INTELLIGENT CONTRIBUTION.

      April 7, 2014 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
    • jez

      I saw a father and his daughter at Taco Bell – around 10 or so, buying lunch. He purchased her THREE burger looking things, along with a giant soda. The girl was overweight, and based on her father's purchasing choices, she is on her way to obease. Me, personally, am seriously underemployed, and a veggie burrito at Taco Bell is cheap, and eatable in my half-hour lunch break.

      You are right – underemployment leads to choosing cheap, unhealthy foods, vs. healthy foods which cost more.

      April 7, 2014 at 19:59 | Report abuse |
    • jez

      It is silly of you to blame Obama. He inherited a huge deficit from Bush. Why is it that you republicans forget that Clinton left Bush with a huge surplus which Bush blew away? Maybe fast food has fouled up your long-term memory....

      April 7, 2014 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • ObeseKid

      More Jobs means Less Time. Less Time means more Fast Food. More Fast Food means Supersized French Fries and Large Coke. Supersized Fries and Large Coke means Obesity.

      April 7, 2014 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • dt

      I blame violent video games.

      April 7, 2014 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
    • Glen Roberts

      Food Stamps is the culprit, see it every say. Nothing but junkfood, needs to used only for specific healthy food.

      April 7, 2014 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
  2. Terrence

    That seems like the result of poor parenting to me.

    April 7, 2014 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timelord7202

      We also live in an era where one requires an expensive college degree for a job that pays minimum wage.

      Parents may not have the time.

      There will always be bad parents, and children that do not listen... and a number of factors in between the extreme cases... but as Americans go, if it requires thought it's not desired so it's just simpler to peg things into convenient boxes than to have to be bothered thinking outside the box to see how big the possible picture is and what else is truly involved.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
    • billbfit

      Maybe Michelle should lead by example and take about 50 pounds off that tailgate?

      April 7, 2014 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    Need more PE and less FB or similar.

    April 7, 2014 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timelord7202

      So place more value on PE than FB.

      Simple.

      It's our economy in our land of "we the people", so why are people being so indolent?

      April 7, 2014 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  4. Gabe

    Well what do you expect when we have billions invested in corn? Give vegetables a subsidy and see how fast the obesity rate falls.

    April 7, 2014 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jerk Face

      I guess they prefer to subsidize grain

      April 7, 2014 at 17:45 | Report abuse |
    • timelord7202

      Subsidies for vegetables except corn and other starches, of course... 🙂

      Wait, we're a free market – what right does the government have in subsidizing ANY business, since proponents of the "free market" claim government intervention is bad? (I don't mind subsidizing, if there's a genuine good coming from it as a result...)

      April 7, 2014 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
  5. Jerk Face

    Gee, who would have guessed that kids would get fat when they never play sports, or even go outside anymore because they can't separate themselves from their electronics for even two minutes. What a shocker.

    April 7, 2014 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timelord7202

      Like how the kids of the 1980s got fat playing on Atari 2600s?

      Or the kids from the 1960s watching television?

      Radio was popular for kids to sit around on during the 1940s...

      It's hard to play hoops while reading a newspaper like how kids did a century ago...

      April 7, 2014 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
    • thzzt

      I lived thru all of those eras and thank God there were no FPS games when I was going to college. I never would have finished. Crack is to pot, as current games are to old Atari games. Waaaaay more addictive.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • momofthree

      My three kids look positively skinny next to most of their peers. I think a lot of it is the fact that we don't encourage video gaming here. We also require them to play a sport...right now its swimming and they usually swim for about 60-80 minutes nearly non-stop four nights a week. Fortunately, I am able to get them to practice and we live in the country where they spend hours playing outside (semi-unsupervised! gasp!) as well. I can't say they don't play video games...we have a wii that gets used when the weather is awful and we are stuck at home and they love minecraft on their kindles. We also eat fast food on occasion but I think the biggest difference between them and their obese cousin is their activity level. They really do get hours of playtime every day.

      April 7, 2014 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
  6. Kathy, AZ

    Get you kids OFF the video games & T.V & OUT in the yard mowing the lawn, playing baseball, volleyball, etc. You're raising a generation of not on FAT kids, but worthless future adults.

    April 7, 2014 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timelord7202

      Then stop letting your kids buy angry birds...

      Our society made the situation it blames its younger aspect for being in.

      We put more value on stupid video games than programming better things and then call kids lazy for playing video games while making the video game maker rich beyond the dreams of avarice. Our society is ironic at best, and we've let people who have said "there is no such thing as society" and their comrades run it for decades. I'm sure you know who you voted for, time and again?

      April 7, 2014 at 18:07 | Report abuse |
  7. lewcypher

    It IS amazing to look at photos from the 70's that show a crowd of people and see how thin everyone was.

    1. Stop buying your kids junk food
    2. Sell the Wii, Xbox & PS4
    3. Take the TV out of their room
    4. Make them play outside

    April 7, 2014 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wes

      sent my kid outside as suggested.. he got shot by a black THANKS OBAMA

      April 7, 2014 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • MarcNJ

      Coke was a lot more popular back then. Helped keep the weight off. 🙂

      April 7, 2014 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • Conrad Miller

      While I hate to sound like, "back when I was young," but there was a giant difference: We were thrown out of the house on the weekends soon after breakfast and were pretty much not allowed back until dinner (with a very brief break for lunch) unless we could "show blood," (i.e., prove we were seriously injured). Not only were we more physically active, we had to entertain ourselves, whether alone or with others in the neighborhood–which meant straining your brain and interacting with your peers (without a screen). This was true "Social Networking." Any kid who was overweight stood out from the crowd rather than being the norm. Turn off the tech and go climb a tree!

      April 7, 2014 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
  8. VJ

    Too many sodas, too much sugar and junk foods... GMO plays a part too...

    April 7, 2014 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. johnny cochran

    These stories alway make me want to eat more FAT. Hey kids, turn off the TV games and play outside! We had Atari & Nintendo... we just weren't OBSESSED!

    April 7, 2014 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      It is not only do to lack of exercise. It has to do with our food chain. A big chunk of our food is processed foods and load with sugar. We have to incorporate healthy living watch what we eat and exercise to release natural body distress agents

      April 7, 2014 at 18:43 | Report abuse |
  10. timelord7202

    Why are people blindly blaming food and video games?

    Aren't kids getting lots of prescribed pills to swallow, for mental health issues, that can cause weight gain?

    Are all the parents lazy or are some too busy because of jobs to keep up with the increased cost of living and other things?

    What about genetically modified food?

    What's in low fat food? Could some foods be so deficient in nutrition that THAT helps cause the obesity problem? /halfrhetorical

    True, junk food and being sedentary are issues. It'd be nice if more Americans would jog their brains more, since there are more issues going on than just eating junk food while sitting all day playing video games (1980s-2000s)/watching TV (1950s-1980s)/radio (1920s-1950s) as being the scapegoat excuse o' the decade to pawn off fat...

    April 7, 2014 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill Officeman

      There are plenty of reasons. The increase of stress in school, or just stress in general is one I would like to add. Nutrition is one of the least important ones to fix. Reduce the workload on kids, and give kids and adults TRUE fitness. Not this go play outside for 30 minutes crap. Give them intense weight training and cardio/ moderate weight training for young kids.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
  11. cnyguy

    Meanhwile, food stamos continue to buy soda, junk food, chips, etc. Lately bags of Easter Candy, it is amazing the amount of holiday candy paid for by taxpayers.

    hourly cashiers ring up soda, junk food with food stamps, Moms with young kids grab candy at checkouts, some bottles of soda and swipe their ebt cards.

    Cut food stamp wate. Get the kids outside to play, it worked for thousands of years!

    April 7, 2014 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cnyguy

      oops, sorry about the iPad typos.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:02 | Report abuse |
    • Jenn

      Okay, I am tired of people saying the answer is to get kids out of the house and let them play outside. My kids are not among those in the higher BMI range, but they do not got outside because we live in the allergy capital of the United States and they would need to wear masks (in addition to the meds and allergy shots they already take) and we have a registered pedophile in the back yard. In fact, we moved from a perfectly good house after the second girl was born because there was a registered pedophile right across the street from us! And those are the ones they've caught... Ever mind the ones not yet on the radar. So NO, just letting your kids outside is not the only answer.

      We have a very full schedule, but we still manage a sit-down dinner almost every night. The girls are 5 and 7, and they can tell you which foods fall into each of the food groups. They get junk food, but mostly at birthday parties and for special treats on the weekend. Since they were born I have drilled into them that food is fuel, and if you don't get the right combinations and amounts, the "car" won't run properly.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
  12. Keksi

    But Obama told us other day it child obesity is going down.

    Who is LYING here??

    April 7, 2014 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • timelord7202

      So you only hate the liberal media when you don't agree with it, forgetting that all media looks for a target market to get money from – meaning the media, at its core, is capitalism rather than being liberal since we all know liberals hate business and are all communists (even though voting records show more republicans helping corporations move to communist countries, at taxpayer expense via corporate welfare, bailouts when they all do too much and then destabilize the economy because nobody here has jobs to pay the bills any longer, etc...)

      April 7, 2014 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
  13. Griselda

    Let's see, obesity is on the rise in kids. That doesn't quite match up well with other claims of an increase in the number of children claiming that they are hungry. Which one is it? I don't see how anyone in this country can be hungry. Free school lunches and breakfasts, plus snacks, government subsidized food programs, like food stamps and welfare, soup kitchens, food handouts from churches and other organizations, free government cheese, free holiday meals at churches and service organizations, not to mention subsidized housing, just to mention a few.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. littlepeaks

    Oink.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. PSYmuffin

    Look outside in your neighborhood........chances are you will not see any kids........think the solution is food or exercise?
    But it's great to know they are all gifted and in honors class.......
    LOL.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Selmers

    What they forget to tell you is illegal immigrants from the Mexico persuasion are also on the rise, and all their little porker kids are fat.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. thzzt

    Well, on the bright side, when the famine finally comes these kids will be ready! Then I predict saying grace before dinner will come back into vogue.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. littlepeaks

    I live across the street from an elementary school. Every morning and afternoon, this area is a giant traffic jam, with parents dropping off/picking up their kids. Do you think that has something to do with the obesity problem?

    April 7, 2014 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Hungry

    A dollar will buy you 1200 calories of potato chips but only 250 calories from the produce section, do the math.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dike

      Plus added saturated fats, sodium, some even cholesterol and a whole bunch of preservatives.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
  20. dike

    It is so easy to grow your own vegs and fruits. In the UK the govt allots lands to people who want to grow their own food and they grow a variety of veges and barter with others who grow different ones in that area... I think it is a awesome plan that is working wish we could get to that kind of mind set. Again the food industry wants you to be as dumb as possible so you only spend money on buying food from them.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • thzzt

      Growing a garden is admirable and a dream of mine but very frequently it is not really cost effective, not when you factor in all the costs. Even seasoned gardeners will tell you it's cheaper to buy certain crops.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
    • Rojo

      Fruits and vegetables require full sun and many of us have small yards shaded by tall buildings or trees.

      April 7, 2014 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
  21. Melissa

    The population will get under control one way or another.
    AIDS, fattiness....

    April 7, 2014 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. bribarian

    I think the problem is bad enough to where they need to have classes at aboout 1st grade that just tell you how to eat healthier and the consequences if you don't. Now I know some sensitive fatties are going to whine about this, but we have the health of the nation at risk here.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mike D

    You can't blame Americans for being resistant towards an universal health care system when you see figures like this.

    Some people take no responsibility for their own or their children's health. Why should people who practice healthy eating habits and practice normal fitness regimens have to pay for the by-pass surgery of people who don't?

    If the people want a universal health care system then Americans need to be more socially responsible with their life styles.

    Which unfortunately means more state intervention in peoples lives. Perhaps it's got to the point where people's diets also have to be regulated by the government?

    Maybe instead of trying to take away guns, the state should try to take away everyone's Cheeseburger first. Heart disease certainly kills many more people than people armed with Guns 🙂

    Don't get mad, just being real.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • thzzt

      I've heard that under Obamacare employers can charge a premium to smokers or overweight employees. Which is good, IMO.

      April 7, 2014 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
  24. shoobyboppitydoo

    ** Severe Idiocy In Parents on the Rise **

    April 7, 2014 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Starman

    WHAT? I just read a study a late Feb saying kind obesity was falling. In fact it said 40% with kids in preschool. I'm getting tired of "studies", I'm getting old enough and have a good enough memory to read nothing more then contrary info all the time.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rogertriton

    I really think kids should be eating healthier and more natural. That doesn't mean take them to Whole Foods; just give them natural stuff that Jesus and the disciples ate over 2,000 years ago. And oh yeah, there wasn't antibiotics or growth hormones in cattle back then either.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. bo

    Stop feeding your children junk food, cook healthy meals, and don't be too busy with your carriers while your children are raised by watching Miley Virus and Fat Kardashians.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. jim - oregon

    It is unfortunate that parents are prohibited from controlling what their kids eat and how much exercise they get.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. kelly

    yes but if you try and help these children you are an evil, socialist, communist, dictator, on and don't forget ******. that too. so, you know, who care if these kids get sick and die and long as we ain't no commie! now i'm going to go back in my single wide and watch more jerry springer. heeeehaaaay!!! MERICA!

    April 7, 2014 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Aaron

    Fat parents have a higher likelihood of having fat kids. News at 11!

    April 7, 2014 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Carolyn

    GMO insecticide toxins are clogging intracellular pathways and making every chronic problem worse.

    April 7, 2014 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. BRANDON

    go capitalism

    April 7, 2014 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Jason

    Maybe we should be teaching the correct things to Americans. Saturated Fat is not bad for you and Carbohydrates (a.k.a. SUGAR) are not that great for you even in "whole wheat" form.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. bdby

    The parents have to "set the example" in healthy eating habits. Otherwise it is all down hill for these kids because they don't know any better than to follow the leader of their friends who also eat junk foods.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Hadenuffyet

    The Xbox generation.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. budshot

    I saw a picture that showed a McDonald's cheeseburger for $1 and a salad for $5. There's your problem.

    It's the same at the grocery store. Feeding healthy food to kids today is super expensive but ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese is doable. Then there's all the drinks.

    Eventually, it comes back to bite all of us as we pay for the high insurance for the hospital and doctor bills of the unhealthy population we've created.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • snowdogg

      Totally correct about all of us paying... I get resentful.

      April 7, 2014 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
  37. amusedobserver

    Why do we have so many problems in this country when so many people here seem to have all the answers? I suggest the government should start consulting the comments section on CNN. All should be right with the world in short order.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. snowdogg

    USA = NATION OF WADDLERS... a tragedy in the making... we're all going to pay for this epidemic.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Kara Williams

    Eating healthy is a choice. You'd have to live under a rock to not know anything about good nutrition. The problem is not that good food isn't available it's that parents don't set any rules about food and let kids eat whatever they want, maybe because they can't exercise any control over their own eating habits. I see it in school every day...kids that bring donuts and potato chips for lunch every day and choose chocolate milk to go with it. It must be difficult for poor people to eat healthy but I think with planning one can eat quite healthy... or healthier... on a very small budget. It's all about how people choose to live.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Steve

    Sugar, that'a all that needs to be said. It's an extract like Cocaine, and triggers fat generation, Sugar...the main culprit. It's been proven, yet theses studies keep coming out about obesity, Sugar!!! Eat bread, even whole grain, your eating Sugar...also that is why the link to so many cases of Juvenile Diabetes..Sugar!!!

    April 7, 2014 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. JM

    Kids nowadays are overweight due to eating the wrong foods, it doesnt matter if they are rich or poor, Also, when was the last time you seen a teenager get off their butt and go outside and cut grass, to actually play and do something physical?? They cant do that because the lawnmower does not have a keyboard attached to it or is not playing a video game. I live in a middle class neighborhood and the kid in it never help their parents out in the yard at all. Its sad how lazy our younger generation has gotten.

    April 7, 2014 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Rhonda Swanson (@queentomyking2)

    I put the blame completely on the parents! Get your kids out doing physical activity instead of the keyboard, remote control etc and get out there with them. Yes, it is expensive to buy the healthy food but you can made sacrifices to do that. Stop buying the pop, candy, sugary cereal, cookies, icecream and the list goes on. Another idea, stop buying your cigarettes, alcohol and purchase the fruit, veggies that you need. Not easy but doable.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Corey Delo

    While their diet is a contributing factor the main reason for this is all the electronic devices xbox.ipad, etc. When was the last time you actually have seen kids playing outside anymore? The few that do get chased in usually by some old cranky neighbor who doesn't like noise .

    April 7, 2014 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. smittah

    Just don't give your kids sugary foods as they grow up. You would be amazed at how that can effect your kids. Fruit is fine, but things like candy, ice cream, soda, juices are not that good for them. And yes I said juices, apple juice has more sugar than most sodas. Certain foods that cause our systems to release serotonin that can screw up a persons body and mental status in the long run. Let them eat foods that they will learn to enjoy when they grow up and not make them binge to feel better about themselves. And don't eat over sized portions in front of your kids, that can really send mixed signals.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. dt

    When a republican is back in the white house, this problem will be SOLVED.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. phantom235

    Like Moochelle's porkers

    April 7, 2014 at 20:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. It worked for me

    Get rid of gluten. We stuff our kids full of it because it is cheap. I challenge anyone to remove gluten/wheat from their kids (and their) diets for 3 weeks. You'll be surprised how much weight you lose. I lost 12 pounds in my first 3 weeks. Did not change anything else in my life (exercise, sleep, etc.).

    April 7, 2014 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. JackBriss

    Of they are fat, They sit at the computer all the time. When we were kids we were always outside playing sports.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Yeah right

      You only had "wood burning" TV too I bet. dolt.

      April 9, 2014 at 09:26 | Report abuse |
  49. Kevin O.

    Childhood obesity, or any obesity, is not pretty. Obese people need to be told…at all times…they are not wanted and must lose the weight or just go away.

    I hate fat people.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • I hate

      I hate Kevins.

      April 9, 2014 at 09:27 | Report abuse |
  50. luckypony

    Um...if the delineation for kids is based on percentiles, the relative percentage of kids in each category will always be the same. The weight of children AT that percentile may change, but the percentage of kids will not.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.