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Study: Childhood obesity in US remains high

28/04/2016

Study: Childhood obesity in US remains highFrom 1999 to 2014, rates of severe obesity among kids in the US climbed, highlighting that the issue still very much continues to plague American children today.

Examining national data over the 15-year period, researchers found that a third of children in the US aged between two and 19 were overweight. They also found, more worryingly, that nearly a quarter were obese and two per cent severely obese.

Lead researcher Asheley Skinner, from the Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C., said: "Despite other recent reports, all categories of obesity have increased from 1999 to 2014, and there is no evidence of a decline in the last few years."

Skinner added that there are currently 4.5 million obese kids in the US who urgently need treatment because they have a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, compared with children their age who are not obese.

"Unless we make big changes on a national level, we're not going to see huge changes in obesity," Skinner said.

By changing school lunches; increasing opportunities for physical activity, and allowing parents access to more healthy food options, the problem of childhood obesity can be tackled head-on, according to Skinner.

The study, the results of which were published in the journal Obesity, also found that rates of obesity were higher in black and hispanic children, suggesting these groups need particular help going forward to combat the problem.
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