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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. wjm980

    Yes, healthy food may be more expensive, but that doesn't mean you can't buy it. Junk food is just that, junk. No matter how much or how little of the junk you ingest, it's only making you less healthy. I'd rather eat less food and have it be healthy, than more food that is nothing but junk.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cc

      Careful people soon will call you unamerican or communist

      April 7, 2014 at 21:03 | Report abuse |
    • Bill Officeman

      You're somewhat right, but you clearly don't understand nutrition and fitness.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      I think their are a number of reasons kids are obese today... PE at school is almost non existent....It's not safe for kids to play outside alone so the baby sitter is computers.... video games... and tv....they become couch potatoes...Then you have the food
      companies putting corn syrup... corn syrup solids... high fructose corn syrup... molasses.... dextrose... high content sugar in cereals... and the list goes on... they are putting it in weiners...smoked sausage...and all packaged foods... read the labels... kids are getting a high dose of sugar before they ever have a cookie...rise up and quit using those products and they will quit putting them in those foods kids and adults eat!

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

      The human body can't function without fat, sodium, and sugar. The food unfairly called "junk" is sure as hell better than not eating at all.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • mark

      I don't even think healthy foods are more expensive, or not dramatically so. We spend our entire food budget on non-processed foods, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables and a variety of canned goods such as beans, tomato paste and the like. I can't give a scientific study, but just based on conversations with my friends and coworkers, we actually spend less on groceries than a lot of them, and we have 4 kids.

      The one area where we definitely pay more is our meats because we buy them from a local butcher. However, the tradeoff there is that the quality of meat we buy is so much higher than what we used to get from the grocery store, so I'm willing to pay that extra cost.

      I think that a lot of people just buy the garbage food because it's faster and easier to prepare. It can be tough finding the time to cook a well-made meal from scratch when you're a busy family.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
    • What is in your food?

      Mark is right. You can eat healthy for a lot less than most spend on processed foods.

      Bill is a dork.

      April 7, 2014 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • 123elle

      Unfortunately, compulsive overeating, that kind that results in real obesity, is not responsive to common sense. I believe these people are driven by a food obsession that is very powerful. I'm sure that they would agree that eating quality food is better, but they are in the grip of an addiction that doesn't let them think calmly or logically about food.

      April 7, 2014 at 23:15 | Report abuse |
    • 123elle

      I believe that, unfortunately, people who are in the grip of food addiction, the kind that results in real obesity are driven by a compulsion that doesn't allow for logical thinking about food. I'm sure many of them would agree that quality food is worth the extra money. They just can't restrain themselves from this self-destructive behavior.

      April 7, 2014 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • Nikki Hill Cincinnati

      I couldn't agree more, wjm980. You state things in your comments that should be so basic at this point given all we know. Sure, healthier food can cost more, but the healthier you eat, the LESS you eat. The dollar menus at fast food restaurants don't nourish anyone therefore the hunger returns quickly. Processed junk? Yep, you can get tons of things for cheap at the grocery stores but again, they have zero nutritional value so how is it saving money? The excuse of "it costs too much to eat healthy" is just that, an excuse. It's an excuse to continue to not make lifestyle changes that impact every aspect of your health. And how much in medical care will a person's obesity cause? Their hypertension? Their diabetes? Their gastric bypasses? Big picture people......

      April 7, 2014 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • inariokaimi

      Actually wjm980 your wrong, Everything in moderation, even junk food. I eat junk food I eat healthy food. If you eat McDonald's for breakfast lunch and dinner, then yes you will end up obese. If you eat it in moderation and exercise then your chances of becoming obese is slim to none. That is how I stay fit. I am 5'10" and 164 lbs which according to the Body Mass Index is my ideal weight. My favorite foods are Fried Chicken, Burritos, Tacos and Pizza yet because I actually exercise 1 hour a day I can stay fit and never become obese.

      April 7, 2014 at 23:53 | Report abuse |
    • michael

      Moo?

      April 8, 2014 at 00:22 | Report abuse |
    • Tseirpa

      issue being with kids you cant always tell them... sorry you cant have more to eat because mommy spent money on organic veggies. They go thru growth spurts and if you are hurting for money you are dealing with increased food costs ( my oldest at age 5 went thru a really bad one and literally ate more then the football player that was staying with us) you also have the costs of their clothes ( my youngest had a spurt that had her shooting up over 6 inches in 5 months).

      sometimes all you can afford is the cheaper not good for you but makes your tummy feel full food. and that is what we should be addressing, making good healthy food available for kids without causing the parents to go bankrupt to feed them.

      April 8, 2014 at 01:28 | Report abuse |
    • Buster

      Nutritious food isn't necessarily more expensive. It is processed foods that are expensive. If you buy fresh fruits and vegetables, make your own bread, buy healthy but cheap proteins (hey, chicken is better for you and cheaper than beef), and even grow some of your own food, you'll pay less than you will for that hamburger helper meal.

      April 8, 2014 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
    • Squeezebox

      It doesn't matter if healthy food is available if there is nobody around to cook it. A lot of the obesity is in kids from households where both parents work or a single parent has to work 2 jobs. You go to job 1, put in your time, go to job 2, put in your time, come home to your kids, maybe help them with their homework while microwaving something and collapse for a couple of hours of sleep before you have to do it all over again. How is a kid not supposed to get fat in those conditions?

      April 8, 2014 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • atlwmn

      Great post, but I will say the "healthy food is expensive" argument is flawed. Last time I checked, cookies, chips, and other junk food was much more expensive than healthy alternatives. I can make a homemade meal for 4 for half the cost of "value meals" for the same number of people. People need to call a spade a spade–most simply don't want to find the time to cook, or never bothered to learn how to feed their family without the crutch of processed or fast foods. To blame it on cost is baloney–we are the only nation whose poorest people are also the fattest. Dried beans and rice, eggs, and canned/frozen veggies are not that expensive. Is lentil soup a great meal? No. But it's healthier than that Big Mac.

      April 8, 2014 at 10:30 | Report abuse |
  2. Glen Roberts

    In reality, what people eat is none of our business.

    April 7, 2014 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Peachy Keen

      It is your business when your taxes are going toward their healthcare.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Kehoe

      Agreed with Peachy, these are the people who won't pay their hospital bill and you and I will be footing all of it with our tax dollars.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • What is in your food?

      That is what the food factories keep telling us.

      April 7, 2014 at 22:12 | Report abuse |
    • sumwun

      So national healthcare is the excuse for taking away personal freedoms?

      April 8, 2014 at 01:12 | Report abuse |
    • Tseirpa

      so Kevin you think only obese people run out on bills in hospitals? but I thought other studies said it was only illegals? or was that celebrities ( ie dmx) who do that?

      you cant generalize. and some people weigh more and are healthier then skinny people. (if that wasnt true you wouldnt hear about athletes that drop dead from a heart attack or stroke). your overall health is determined by your genes, and yes for most people being a good weight would be beneficial, but you cant judge everyone by yourself.

      April 8, 2014 at 01:30 | Report abuse |
    • MarieEricksson

      No you can't tell people what to eat….you can only educate them and let them decide. And if they continue to decide to choose unhealthiness, they can be left to deal with the consequences on their own. Time to end allowing anyone into the emergency room who can't pay. Time to end Medicaid and Medicare. Time for me to stop paying for someone else's unhealthy lifestyle.

      April 8, 2014 at 10:04 | Report abuse |
  3. johndoe

    1 carton of eggs, 1 bag of rice, 1 bag of bulk fresh meat on sale to keep in freezer, plus salt and pepper will cost under $20 and is enough food for a week. Maybe you can get some fruits or veggies on sale if you're lucky.

    Hitting the dollar menu 3 times a day will cost $21+ a week and your food quality drops.

    Fresh food really is cheaper because you don't have to pay a restaurant's labor cost. It just means that you have to put a little work and creativity into what you're eating.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John Adams

      Keep quiet! You'll get all the idiots who say it costs a lot to eat healthy in an uproar. 🙂

      April 7, 2014 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Well, w should compare a number of calories you get per each $1 spent on junk food vs healthy food. If you are hungry, you reach for food with most calories.

      April 7, 2014 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • Xira

      Of course you need time and equipment to cook all that – something most poor people don't have.

      April 8, 2014 at 00:28 | Report abuse |
    • JLS639

      Yes, cutting out vegetables and fruit makes your diet a lot cheaper. I could not help but notice the high calorie density of your recommendation in as article about obesity. It is easy to get fat on a diet of rice and meat.

      April 8, 2014 at 08:59 | Report abuse |
    • johndoe

      I mentioned fruits and veggies. Did you not read?

      Or would you prefer the dollar menu diet? Caloric density can be a good thing. Portion control comes from your end.

      April 8, 2014 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Welcome to America. All we care about is cheap fast food and no one seems to care about eating healthy food.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. MJ

    People who have no knowledge about eating healthy feed kids with junk food. as this article says, these kids will need more healthy care and treatments. This would cause health care cost to go up and every American have to pay more money towards health care insurance and taxes. That's why educating people to eat healthier is so important.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ben

      About your last sentence: rising healthcare costs is enough reason to educate people about nutrition and fitness, but I think helping other Americans live healthier and happier lives is why it's so important.

      April 7, 2014 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  6. MEL

    Uh reading this while eating a cookie.. should take a lesson

    April 7, 2014 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Smarterest Human

    BELVIQ is being tested now for childhood obesity. It is already FDA Approved for adults.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mk

      How many weight loss drugs are they going to "approve" then have to recall due to health issues? Drugs are not the answer.

      April 8, 2014 at 08:38 | Report abuse |
  8. AnnaLisa

    Crossfit and Atkins for the lot of them.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MarieEricksson

      And for their parents as well. I would bet that many of the seriously obese children in this study are that way because one or both parents are as well.

      April 8, 2014 at 10:06 | Report abuse |
  9. Smarterest Human

    $3 for a single red pepper in the supermarket gets you 3 hamburgers at McDonalds or Wendys. If you're poor, which are you going to choose? It's a no brainer. Hunger trumps Vegetarianism.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cjb

      You are obviously too stupid to be a good parent.Smarterest.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Kehoe

      You're 3 hamburgers closer to diabetes. Read the grocery store sales in the newspapers.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
    • rtb1980

      I'm pretty sure McDonalds also has a dollar salad option. lol And if you buy enough food to cook your meals thru the week you realize you get a lot more for your money. This is coming from a single guy who cooks for himself and fiance, I imagine if you are cooking for a family you can get even more for your money, due to buying in bulk.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
    • cjacja

      One other factor is time. It seems wrong, but poorer people work more hours. Many have more than one job. Cooking means being home at meal time. Going to the store means you have a car. If you walk you can only cary so much. Many people today have no car and are not home much.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • skeptical

      I eat organic and live in one of the most expensive places in the country, and I would never pay $3 for a pepper.

      April 7, 2014 at 21:42 | Report abuse |
    • ES

      And that is why nobody buy them when they are at $3 off season, but when they are 2 for $1.
      Right now package of strawberries is $2.5, reddishes are 2 packs for $1, then there is spinach, cabbage, zuccini, tomotoes etc. Mix it with some beans and rice and it is not expensive at all.
      This is what poor people eat all over the world – some grains, some veggies and some meat mixed together, not a slab of meat like Americans eat.

      April 7, 2014 at 22:01 | Report abuse |
    • Chelle

      Or, for $3, you could buy a dozen eggs. Or a whole sack of potatoes. Or a big bunch of organic apples. Or several heads of kale.

      April 8, 2014 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
  10. mike

    That's because they're sitting around watching the PLANE show on CNN.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mom

    Parents are quick to give kids phone and devices where the kids just sit there...there is a price to be paid. Add sugary drinks and food to the mix, and it's not good.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. cjb

    I participate in a fruit and vegetable co-op (held around the country) that for $15 I get two laundry baskets full of fruits and vegetables. Also, throwing seeds into a pot of dirt has amazing results. The problem is the parents are too lazy and self centered and would rather drive through the drive through than be good parents.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Keith

    If you want to fatten a hog, you feed it corn. Folks need to quit feeding your children all that corn and High Fructose Corn syrup. Your body can not use it properly, that is why it makes you fat. Don't worry about the poison that the GMO's add to your diet. Drinking diet soda is worse, it makes you fat too. Quit making excuses and get that fat a** kid off the couch so they don't die an early death.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. coastlinecascott

    I along with my friends grew up on junk food. We however rode skateboards bikes and played sports for hours a day. These kids now are little lazy Internet play station addicts. Know wonder why they are fat

    April 7, 2014 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. rtb1980

    Eating healthy does not cost more. I've completely changed my lifestyle and what I eat over the past two years. I went from eating McDonalds and other various fast foods, as well as the cheap unhealthy cook at home foods to preparing my dinners every night. I've saved so much money and I eat like a king. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, fish, meats. Water and unsweetened teas.. all the way. It's all about how you do it. Also I've noticed I don't eat as much anymore, not nearly as much as I did when I ate junk food.
    I mostly blame the parents. I do still go out to eat every other weekend or with friends sometimes, and if we ever go to a buffet, you can immediately see the problem. Parents allowing their kids to go up for thirds, fourths and even five + plates of food.. Then followed by a couple plates of dessert. It's sad to watch these children stuff their faces and the parent encouraging them to do so. It all starts with the parents. If you have overweight children and it is not due to a medical problem, you are to blame. Nobody else.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Smarter than ewe

    Before video games, even during the early years, kids still rode their bicycles everywhere, played outdoor games and were exhausted at the end of the day from exercise. The food choice are both better and worse now. But it's the lack of exercise, more than the Twinkies, that are puffing up the little gaming addicts.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Xira

      Many parents are too afraid to let their kids ride to school alone.

      Many more would be locked up if they let them.

      We are an artificially hyped zero-tolerance police state where propaganda is used to keep the masses fearful of strangers. Until there is no longer profit in the private prisons for trumping up dangers things will continue to devolve.

      April 8, 2014 at 00:31 | Report abuse |
  17. rtb1980

    It seems most parents are more concerned with doing what their children want, buying them all the toys they want, allowing them to run around like kings of the house.. All so they don't have to deal with the kid crying or fighting back. Parents need to learn to deal with the crying kid, and not give into what they are asking for. Use the money you were going to spend on the latest tech device or toy for them and go buy enough food to cook proper meals for the week. And if you are poor and on food stamps, you really have no excuse to not eat healthy, your food is paid for by me and my fellow tax payers. Use it wisely. LOL

    April 7, 2014 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Plant Based Pies LLC

    The Plant Based, vegan diet might very well be the only thing that can turn this around.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Wade

    What would anyone expect in a country that has no values or values anything anymore except what the Individual demands for themselves as their rights. It is like the 1960's but on steroids where he** if if feels good then do it and if anyone tries to tell you it is wrong then crucify them with of course the help from the liberal media.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. canadiangurl

    no shocker here, all i see is mcdonalds and taco bell when crossing the border, you guys need help.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Tyrone

    A month ago on CNN Michele Obama got credit for obese kids on the decline thanks to her programs. LOL! What happened?????????????? Great articles CNN!!!!!!!

    April 7, 2014 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jimbo

      Just another failed Obama program. Or is it Barbara Bush's fault?

      April 7, 2014 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
  22. gstlab3

    I thought just a week or two ago they said they had seen a decrease in fat children?
    Which one is it?
    I do however think the attention span of Americans has most certainly decreased.

    April 7, 2014 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ser

      your later comment is probably the one that makes the most sense on this comment section...Kudos

      April 8, 2014 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  23. Bob Schmoot

    I ate junk food, fast food and other garbage for many years because they is all I could afford especially while in and just out of college. I kept all the weight off with exercise and just staying active in general. When I got a better paying job, I switched to healthy food. Meat, fruits, vegetables etc. Regardless of what people are saying from MY personal experience, it was cheaper for me to eat the junk for. I could eat three calorie dense meals a day for under $12. Buying a salad off the dollar menu is like drinking water and really doesn't do anything for you when you are hungry. Especially if you are active. Now that I eat very healthy, my grocery bills are astronomical compared to when I was eating fast food, pizza and junk. I know it's better for me in the long term which is why I eat this way now. However, money wise, it is way more expensive.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. School Lunches

    The problem is our school lunches. The polices were changed for the better. Instead, they got worse! It's to the point the school lunches are worse than prison food. To change this like this Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/schoollunchrevolution and share your thoughts.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thanks Michelle

      Now the food is not just horrid, but there is less of it–EVERYTHING is portion and calorie regulated to the point of absurdity, even for older kids who are athletic. This is why I pack lunch for the kids.

      April 7, 2014 at 22:17 | Report abuse |
  25. Slow down

    Until you make it illegal to use food stamps (whatever they call it in debit form nowadays) to purchase soda pop, candy and other food that is completely devoid of nutrition, I won't even have a conversation about the subject of childhood obesity. If it is illegal to buy tylenol, cigarettes and toilet paper with food stamps, it can also be illegal to buy soda pop and donuts. Think there is no relationship? Compare the CDC obesity map to a map showing food stamp use by state.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Xira

      Already is illegal to use the stamps for that stuff. But you can buy processed pre-made meals – which are a whole lot faster and cheaper to prepare when you work 2 FT jobs and still lose money.

      April 8, 2014 at 00:33 | Report abuse |
    • Slow down

      Xira no, sorry. it is only illegal to get them with WIC. You could go and buy candy, soda pop, sugary cereal, donuts...there is no end to the pure crap you can buy on food stamps. Rice and beans are cheap...but people want to eat crap instead.

      April 8, 2014 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
  26. What kids are fed

    The average American kid gets a pile of sugar for breakfast, chased with more sugar....sugar and fats for lunch...sugar coated meats for dinner.

    There is no real understanding of how to cook anymore, let alone how to cook real wholesome food–everything is out of a box or a bag or a can.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. brainiac3397

    The push by capitalistic corporations to feed people junk will always beat the need to eat healthy. They capitalize on the low-cost high-volume junk food, and the high-cost low-volume healthy foods equally. Is "healthy" food that expensive in reality? Or is it just another way to starve the American people of their money while satiating them on disgusting unhealthy meals?

    Real sugar? Nope, we're forced to ingest HFCS(High Fructose Corn Syrup). Why must we? Because that's what the government wants and that's what the lobbyists wants.

    Face it, the government and corporations like to tell us how to eat healthy and "support" us with their mouths, yet with their greedy hands they do they're worst, one hand in your wallet, and the other forcing junk down our throat.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • phantom235

      Libs never accept any responsibility.
      "Duh Gubbiment and da corporstions make me eat it."

      April 7, 2014 at 22:26 | Report abuse |
    • mk

      "...one hand in your wallet, and the other forcing junk down our throat."

      Nope, you are deciding what is produced with your purchases. Stop buying the crap and they will be forced to stop making the crap.

      April 8, 2014 at 08:45 | Report abuse |
  28. S

    Ever wonder when you were a kid why you could not eat one more bite of vegetables but always had room for desert?
    Why did not of us become obese? Our parents, grandparents were not, even when they ate bacon, eggs bread.
    They were peasants and worked on a farm. We did not watch much TV no computer and yes...we played outside.but I truly believe you cannot totally discount genetics. If I can eat pints of Ben and Jerry ice cream three times a week and not gain weight and someone else gains 40 lbs ....why? PS I do NOT exercise.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FactCheck

      Look at the obituary section of today's newspaper. Did someone under 30 die? If so, do you think that means the American lifespan is decreasing? No, it means you can draw no conclusions from a sample size of one.

      If you gain no weight from eating pints of ice cream, perhaps you have an unusually active metabolism. Your good fortune has no bearing on what millions of humans should do, or the repercussions they will experience from replicating your eating habits.

      April 7, 2014 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
  29. ermentrude

    You can't just add veggies or remove fast food, or sugary drinks. You have to increase activity. And at this point, I don't see it happening. Young children are kept off the streets, even in upper middle class mostly white neighborhoods, much less inner city neighborhoods. Until we safely welcome young children back onto our streets and into our daily lives, this is going to continue.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. puddintane

    not to worry, soon the kids will all be smoking dope and all will be well.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. phantom235

    If you disagree with Moochelle and her lot, you must be racist.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. derek

    Obesity is bad for you, no question. But this doesn't seem to be slowing down the 'fat rights' movement where clearly obese people parade their fat bodies around in public.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Rebel

    What do you expect when there is no PE in school. So sad how few kids I see playing at the park anymore. Lord knows we wouldn't want them to get a scratch on the knee, or a bruise on the hip. What is this world coming to?

    April 7, 2014 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jubei

    Gosh I'm hungry for a sugar glazed or coated donut.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Joepannu

    McDonald, jack, carls, sonic, and mr. Bell you guys have accomplished a lot with your dollar menu. Keep up the good work and let us "weigh" the consequences of your doing. How will you make your billions when age span is cut down by 20% and your customers may never see the light of day after 40.

    April 7, 2014 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. jmiller

    My kids don't eat the healthiest every single day it's a mix, but I sure as he'll don't let them sit on their bums staring at the tv all day, they are not even overweight. Good activity plus decent food is all you really need to be healthy. Some people go overboard with the crazy processed food conspiracy stuff, just like immunizations.

    April 7, 2014 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Matt

    It is sad to admit but for the taxpayers people who die young because various diseases and disasters cost much less than people who live very long and suffer from age related diseases

    April 7, 2014 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. BLE7481

    "Get Moving!"

    April 8, 2014 at 00:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Bro Science

    Awful lotta armchair nutrionists in this thread. Apparently a lot of people of who have nothing but time to fritter away on cooking and cleaning kitchens, too. No thanks. People need to stop the obsessive hand-wringing over BMI, weight, and other people's illnesses. Your "tax dollars" are not going to other people's health care. That's a lame and false excuse by ignorant, judgmental control freaks to to boss other people around. Just stop already, god.

    April 8, 2014 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. stiz2003

    I think there are a number of reasons for child obesity. Some are from parents over pampering. Some are from lazy parents who don't want to cook. What kid would not choose a bag of chips over an apple! I don't believe junk food is cheaper either. The kids follow the parents footsteps. There are a few with emotional problems too, from lack of attention from parents and resorting to food as comfort. This subject is too broad to do a study on unless they narrow down either eating habits or emotional problems with these kids.

    April 8, 2014 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. johnny

    let the fat kids die. i could care less.

    April 8, 2014 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bzemom

      Wow! Aren't you just a ray of sunshine?

      April 8, 2014 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • GOPtard I bet

      GOPtard I bet.

      April 9, 2014 at 09:24 | Report abuse |
  42. whoever

    Child obesity is a major concern. Parent who work long hours buy pizza for dinner and other high calorie foods out of necessity . That is the issue that working parents have no time to prepare a healthy meal,

    April 8, 2014 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. pekingthom

    Choices...can be difficult, especially when you consider the relentlessly widening income disparity. This is an eventual symptom of Kowboy Kapitalistic Industrial Disease. It's a mystery, and a surprise to no one paying attention!?!
    Darwinian Survival of the "fittest"...Truly!
    Buyer beware?
    Enter at your own risk.
    You deserve a break today?!?

    April 8, 2014 at 02:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. John

    Why does the obvious always escape being included in proposed solutions to obesity. The food industry relies on deceit, false advertizing and various marketing head fakes on almost everything that is sold to US consumers. It is literally criminal what they are allowed to get away with. The FDA does not do it's job nor does Congress because huge amounts of money are fed to politicians to keep the scam going. How about universal standards on labeling and zero tolerance for deceptive practices. But that is probably too obvious. We can't have "all natural" actually mean "all natural", the system will collapse.

    April 8, 2014 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. saveyourfeet

    There is just one fundamental reason for childhood or any hood" obesity: lack of activity. whether it be formal exercise or just going out to walk or play. Most activity is done with the hands on game controls. why go outside and play when they can travel to different worlds fighting and killing? 1,00 calories in; 450 calories out, in six days you gain a pound, in 60 days 10 pounds;; and on and on and on. PUT THE GAME DOWN AND GET ACTIVE.
    Oh you can't, mom likes knowing where you are.
    It's it was the next step downward ever since the treadmill came indoors.... why go for a walk on a beautiful day injoying the fresh air, when you can go down into your stuffy basement and do the same thing

    April 8, 2014 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Apollinair

    There are too many obese kids. But, Overweight? Remember the BMI scale used is based on Auschwitz survivors as a norm

    April 8, 2014 at 03:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. How many

    How many of you posters are fat? Hmmmmm.

    April 8, 2014 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. John

    My Wife made a pot of Taco soup with some leftovers last night and cheese quesadillas. This is one of our more unhealthy meals. Leftover pork (about $1 worth of meat) 1 Red Pepper ($1 bought on sale) Onion, corn (frozen) can of tomatoes, can of black beans. (all $1 each roughly) $1 for the cheese and Tortillas. Probably $1 worth of Milk for the kids and us (we actually drank beer but if we drank milk its about 1/4 of the gallon or so) Let's see about 7-8 dollars. Made 6 servings, maybe more. Took 20 minutes. Now all those ingredients cost more than that overall, can't buy just $1 worth of meat, but if you drop $50 on groceries in the week you can feed your family for most of the week. My lunch today. Will cost NOTHING. I'm eating the leftover soup.
    It is much cheaper to cook than buy processed food. With food stamps and such it shouldn't be hard to feed a family if you are poor, if you cook. If you aren't so poor as to need that, you have no excuse either.
    The real problem is the mental illness that these people suffer from. Crushing depression, and they self-medicate with food.

    April 8, 2014 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. mrsfudd

    Schools have taken out PE, recess and other forms of exercise unless you are in organized sports. That is detrimental to the well being of a child. We were required to take the President's Physical Fitness testing when I was in junior high. Today, kids sit around eating junk food and playing video games.

    One person posted that it's not safe to let kids ride their bikes alone anymore. In some neighborhoods, that is probably true, and that is a tragedy. I rode my bike everywhere. I wish I had a bike now!

    Eating healthy starts at infancy. It is the parent's responsibility to make sure their children eat well. I made most meals from scratch and didn't buy processed foods. All cookies, cakes, pies and doughnuts were made from scratch. My kids hate store-bought cakes and pies because they know what the good stuff really tastes like, and I can control how much sugar is in what I bake.

    Some stuff is cheaper – l like macaroni and cheese. Cheese has gone up so much in price, making it from scratch is expensive, but tastes SO much better!

    April 8, 2014 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. MaisyDaisy

    Want to cure obesity, bulimia, anorexia, drug addiction, and alcoholism all in one fell swoop? Here's how: Provide better mental health services.

    Get rid of the stigma of needing mental health services. Elevate mental health services to the status of preventive medicine and dentistry. Make it available, accessible, and affordable to everyone. Open drop-in clinics and staff crisis hotlines 24/7. Stop shaming people because they're fat, or because they're starving, or because they're addicted; start treating them for the crushing pain and self-hatred that's causing them to turn toward these defeating behaviors.

    Nobody wants to be fat. Nobody wants to be addicted. Nobody wants to be an alcoholic. But nobody can suffer the day-to-day agony of untreated depression for years on end without some means of self-comfort. Unfortunately, not everyone has the means or resources to reach for those positive tools that will help them through the darkness so they turn to what they know, what's accessible, and what's affordable, whether that's a sack of cheeseburgers, or a case of beer, or a needle.

    Kicking someone when they're down doesn't help. Instead of a heel, try lending a hand.

    April 8, 2014 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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