May 1, 2009
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Across all age groups, obesity has been on the rise for decades. During the past four decades, in fact, the percentage of children ages 6 to 11 who are obese has more than quadrupled (from 4.2% to 17%), and obesity prevalence has more than tripled for adolescents ages 12 to 19 (from 4.6% to 17.6%). According to a national poll, parents now rank childhood obesity as the number one potential threat to their children’s health—topping drugs, alcohol and tobacco use.