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Of children ages six to eleven, approximately 30.3 percent are overweight, while 15.3 percent are obese. In adolescents, the percentage of overweight individuals is 30.4. 15.5 percent of adolescents are considered obese (Obesity in Youth, 2005). In addition, hospital costs due to childhood obesity rose from $35 million in 1979 to $127 million in 1999.


Of those children who have asthma, a large proportion of them are considered overweight when compared with peer groups. Type II diabetes has become more prevalent in children, mostly due to the obesity epidemic in America. Prior to 1992, childhood obesity contributed to only two to four percent. In 1994, that number had risen to sixteen percent. Obese children have a 12.6 times greater risk of having a high fasting blood insulin level, which is a factor for type II diabetes. High blood pressure, called hypertension, is also on the rise in children. There is a nine times greater risk of elevated blood pressure occurring persistently in obese children than in non-obese children. In addition, obese children and adolescents are 2.4 times more likely to have a high diastolic blood pressure reading and 4.5 times more likely to have an elevated systolic blood pressure reading than non-obese children. Orthopedic complications are another negative aspect of childhood obesity. These complications are due to the fact that the growing bones and cartilage of growing children are not yet strong enough to support excess weight (Obesity in Youth, 2005).
The psychosocial effects are just as important as the physical consequences of obesity. ...
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