There are more than one billion overweight adults, of which more than 300 million are obese. The trouble starts at childhood.
Overweight children are more likely to become obese as adults rather than lose weight. In the past twenty years, overweight rates of children have tripled. A recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that more than 80% of children overweight at ages 10 to 15 years old were obese adults at 25 years old. Despite massive media attention to nutrition and obesity, this trend is still a very serious issue.
Physicians once believed that Type 2 Diabetes only affected adults, but now in some communities almost half of the pediatric diabetes cases are Type 2. Children with this disease are at an extraodinarily high risk of suffering from kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. In fact, 61% of overweight children age 5 to 10 already have at least one risk factor for heart disease; and 26% have two or more risk factors. Less than 25% of adolescents eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
MORE THAN JUST PHYSICAL HEALTH
Obesity is a serious public health issue, but its significance goes beyond physical health. Obesity is related to lower academic achievement, education attainment, and earnings. Teachers also find that obesity increases truancy rate. In the United States, only 23% of obese students enrolled into college, compared to 35% of their nonobese peers. Nonobese girls particularly have an 18% better chance of enrolling into college.
Obese children also exhibit significant increases in self-rejection, suicidal ideation, alcoholism, and marijuana use.
In a recent study by the CDC, health costs directly attributed to obesity have been estimated above $75 billion. Among children, annual hospital costs related to overweight and obesity more than tripled over the past two decades.
Our Dare to Face Your Future: Nutrition Education program program is designed to help students learn about the benefits of a proper diet in an interactive museum-like exhibit, including unique mementos for students to take home.
Coming Soon: Healthy Vending, a program which offers schools the chance to have healthy snacks available all over their campus.