Childhood Obesity Facts

     Childhood obesity facts lead us to an alarming inconvenient truth. What are doctors saying about this childhood obesity epidemic? There is at least one nationally known pediatric expert who is calling out the food manufacturers for their role in this.

     Eating too much sugar is toxic.    If your child is at risk read on.

      So many very serious health problems result from obesity in young children including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hypoglycemia, liver disease and even some types of cancer to name a few.  Growing children who become obese have greatly diminished opportunities for good health in adulthood.

     These childhood obesity facts make clear that we are raising a society of overweight children who will turn into overweight adults without serious intervention. We know poor diets and inactivity will lead to fatter adults who will probably raise children who are fat.

      The numbers of people, adults as well as children, who are obese have sky rocketed in one generation! What has changed in the past 35 years?

     Here's the inconvenient truth.   How about consumption of high fructose corn syrup?    It's in everything you buy these days! Can't the food manufacturers take out the corn syrup?

     Children today are eating 5 times the amount of sugar they did a generation ago. Less physical activity for children and tons more sugar equals childhood obesity for millions of children.


Childhood Obesity Statistics

     The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that of children born in 2000, 1 out of 3 Caucasians and 2 out of 3 African Americans and Hispanics will contract diabetes in their lifetimes. Whew. Since 1980 the number of obese children has nearly tripled. Roughly one in six children and adolescents is now obese. That’s 12.5 million kids! As a result, this generation could be the first in our country's history to die at a younger age than our parents.

     It is obvious from these childhood obesity facts that the numbers are going up at an alarming rate and that childhood obesity keeps accelerating.

     It is worse for American Indian children with one third of them considered obese. Obesity is also more common in Latino and African American youngsters. Latinos, in particular, have a genetic predisposition to developing health issues from over consumption of fructose according to Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of clinical pediatrics, UC San Francisco.

Causes of Childhood Obesity

      Dr. Robert Lustig gave a talk in Santa Rosa, California in the spring of 2012 about what he says is the leading cause of obesity in children. Dr. Lustig is a professor of clinical pediatrics and a nationally recognized expert in the field of neuroendocrinology. He has spent years analyzing the growing problem of obesity especially as seen in today’s young children. He has pin pointed what he thinks is the main culprit:

high fructose corn syrup which is in commercial sodas and other processed foods

     I was so happy to read that a prominent doctor is speaking out so strongly against high fructose corn syrup because as I’ve reported here on my website, there are unmistakable health dangers in drinking sodas. As far as I’m concerned sodas are a pox on any effort to have permanent weight loss or good health. Dr. Lustig called this kind of sugar “toxic and abused.”

     These are strong words but he’s NOT overstating the use of corn syrup. It is abused by the food processing industry which puts it in so many drinks and foods and then targets children with their marketing.

     We can thank Dr. Lustig for being so blunt. According to the doctor, Americans have increased their fructose consumption from 15 grams a day to 75 grams a day and more. The source of this sugar is sodas and processed foods. There are hidden sugars in processed foods.

     High fructose corn syrup is the main one but there are other preservatives that are high glycemic that are actually sugars but are not labeled as such. They all spike blood sugar! They all contribute to fat build up and eventually if consumption becomes chronic these high glycemic sugars can cause diseases.

     The worst sugar is high fructose corn syrup which Dr. Lustig says is as bad as alcohol in causing people to store fat in the liver. This fat build up not only results in childhood obesity but also contributes to hypertension, hypoglycemia, diabetes, liver problems and other health problems.

      One of the insidious things about it is that corn syrup is in popular drinks that are marketed to young children who find them impossible to resist. Many adults are “addicted” to cokes and other sodas so how can we expect children to resist the sweet taste, carbonation and easy access to these drinks?

      Corn syrup is also an additive in many processed foods that are typically eaten by busy families. The food processing industry is extremely sophisticated in their marketing campaigns to target those who are most vulnerable.  Maybe a boycott of their products would get their attention!

     Dr. Lustig’s point about sugar is that not all calories are the same. Yes, there are other unhealthy foods that are a problem. Eating too many saturated fats and worse eating the wrong kind of unhealthy fats, the trans fatty acids that are in hydrogenated fats that are cooked at high temperatures, are hard on the liver.  These are in the “junk foods” that ARE the foods sold in fast food restaurants.

     However, it’s the high glycemic sugars , like corn syrup and table sugar that actually cause the fat to be stored.   It’s eating the fats WITH the sugars that triggers the body to shut down it’s fat metabolism mechanism.

      Here are more uncomfortable but true childhood obesity facts. Kids eat salty junk foods with sugar sweetened drinks. White bread, pizza, coca cola, French fries, candy....these are some of the top foods eaten by American kids.   They set kids up for cravings.

     Childhood obesity facts are alarming but we CAN do something about it! If your child is overweight read the article below. Children need to eat lots of healthy low glycemic foods. We can make sure that our children understand what the health risks are for eating high glycemic sodas and fast foods!




How To Prevent Childhood Obesity

Here's what you can do to combat obesity in your family.


Return from Childhood Obesity Facts to Definition of Obesity.

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