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Childhood Obesity in America Skyrocketing

February 17, 2011

Childhood obesity in America is skyrocketing. The rate of childhood obesity in preschool age children in America has risen from 5% in 1980 to over 14% in 2004. For elementary school children, childhood obesity rates have grown from 6.5% in 1980 to 18.8% in 2004.

We currently have over 20 million obese children in the United States and all the statistics show that these trends will continue to get worse. By 2015, it is predicted that 75% of Americans will be obese or overweight.

Our children are also more medicated than ever before in history. Prescription and over-the-counter drug use in children is growing at a rate of more than 20% a year! That’s faster than the drug use growth rate of senior citizens!

Dr. David Katz has said, “Children are more harmed by poor diet than by drugs, alcohol, and tobacco combined!” Dr. Katz is right – over 25,000 children in America die every die from preventable causes.

The costs of this obesity epidemic are horrendous. We spend over $475 billion a year on treating Cardiovascular diseases, over $219 billion on Cancer treatments, and over $147 billion treating diseases directly caused by obesity.

Today about 20% of every dollar spent in the U.S. goes to pay our healthcare expenses. By 2014, the U.S. healthcare expenses are expected to be $3.6 trillion! And 70% of those expenses are for treating chronic diseases which are preventable and reversible with proper nutrition and exercise!

On top of that, between 90,000 and 400,000 patients die every year due to prescription drugs and surgery. Many of these deaths are due to normal complications resulting from taking prescription drugs as directed.

The #1 killer of Americans is Heart Disease (cardiovascular diseases) the #2 killer of Americans is cancer, and the #3 killer of Americans is the American health care system (drugs and surgery!).

Even though we spend more on healthcare per capita in the U.S. than any other country in the world, we rank only 39th in the world in terms of health. The paradox is, the more we spend on healthcare in America the sicker Americans get!

Researchers from the National Institute of Health have shown that 90% of diseases in America is due to poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. Why don’t we spend more money promoting good nutrition and physical activity instead of promoting drugs and surgery? We could prevent 90% of disease in America and save Trillions of dollars at the same time!

What are your thoughts? Should we invest more in prevention in America? Leave a comment and let us know!

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