The Real Cost of Childhood Obesity

The studies on childhood obesity have had conflicting results, with some suggesting kids are leaner now, while others point to an increase in obesity rates.

The latest study suggests the number of obese children has remained stable.

A few months ago a report from the Centers for Disease Control suggested obesity rates in young kids have plummeted, but that study only looked at the past decade.

When you incorporate data from the '9O's researchers at UNC Chapel Hill say it's a different story.

"For overweight and obesity there's generally not any change, there's certainly not the decrease reported before," said Asheley Cockrell Skinner, Ph.D, UNC Chapel Hill.

That's because in 2003 there was an unexplained spike in the number of obese kids in the US, so any subsequent drop still doesn't get below our lowest point.

Experts say childhood obesity rates have actually remained steady, if not gone up.

The number of children who are the heaviest has doubled since 1999.

Skinner said, "Kids on these really severe ends are the kinds of kids who who do get type two diabetes while they're actually teenagers."

This group makes up just 2% all kids, but the latest data show 17% of children are obese and thirty percent are overweight.

She said, "All of our kids have for the most part really bad diets and they're not very active."

the consequence of obesity impacts more than a child's health.

A new, separate study, found the lifetime costs of childhood obesity topped $19,000.

The researchers say more resources are needed to help families lead healthier lives every day, which means everyone needs to change their eating habits and increase their activity.

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