The picture of health presented by current childhood obesity statistics is not a rosy one. The percentage of obese or overweight children in the United States has roughly doubled between 1971 and 2000.
Obesity has become widespread among both adults and children in the United States. The prevalence of overweight and obese children has increased from 15% in 1971 to more than 30% in 2000.
Does obesity follow ethnicity?
There are large disparities in the childhood overweight situation in the Los Angeles County in California. One report published in January, 2006, shows children of Latin American decent leading the “Overweight" competition in that western US state.
It shows the childhood obesity problem divided among ethnic groups like this:
- 19.4% . . . African Americans (or Blacks)
- 17.6% . . . American Indians
- 11.9% . . . Asians
- 25.2% . . . Latinos
- 20.0% . . . Pacific Islanders
- 13.0% . . . whites
But I remember reading an article where the writer was ranting about how Caucasians and Latin Americans viewed the definition of overweight or being “fat" differently.
According to article, the meaning of overweight differs from one culture to the other. Apparently, Whites like to be “movie-star-thin" but Latinos like the “curves. " In other words, thin looks sick to Latinos and curves look “fat" to whites.
What childhood obesity statistics predict about diabetes
Whatever the view one takes regarding having bodily curves or being bodily thin, the real issue is health. How do the curves or the thins relate to lifestyle conditions like diabetes and hypertension?
One of the startling realities I came across as I looked at some childhood obesity statistics was this sentence from a research articls: “Sports participation among children is declining. "
- Children who are “not thin" and have lots of “curves", in other words, who are considered obese or overweight **and** are are not physically active, have significant odds of being type 2 diabetics before they even become adults.
- Children who are thin, i. e. are not considered obese or overweight, **but** who are not physically active, can become overweight and have the same fate as those who are already overweight or obese.
With these areas of our lives being neglected everyday, we can expect the childhood obesity statistics to continue to point towards a grim future for the health and wellness of future generations.
Physical activity among children should not be allowed to wane. As Broderick, Winter, and Allan (2006) remarked, “Sport and physical activity are important in childhood for optimising bone mass and reducing obesity and insulin resistance. "
Coupling the lack of physical activity with the prevalence of junk food, excess sugar and fats in the diet, one can expect this trend to produce a larget segment of the world population having type 2 diabetes.
[For a longer version of this article, including a graph, you may see the author's website . ]
Copyright © 2006 by Bentley Thompson
Bentley writes about lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular diseases. He advocates the anti-diabetes diet which he describes on his website. You may visit his website and blog using the following URLs: http://www.anti-diabetes-diet-supplements.com/ and http://choosehealthtoday.blogspot.com