Let’s be honest – in general, Americans are chip-crunching, soda-drinking couch potatoes. We don’t eat healthy and we don’t exercise enough, especially not as children.

And that’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled childhood obesity as A Growing Problem in America today. Because they define childhood as the period between the ages of 2 and 19, inclusive, we at Midd could very well still be at risk.

While genetics and stress may make a child more at risk for becoming obese, environmental factors also contribute in large part to childhood obesity.

MORE access to these kinds of advertised foods, as many schools provide them either during lunchtime or through vending machines
LESS access to the kinds of foods they should be eating, either because these foods are unaffordable or unavailable
MORE high-calorie foods + LESS physical activity = BAD!
So what can we do to solve this problem?
Cara B Ebbeling, Dorota B Pawlak, David S Ludwig, “Childhood obesity: public-health crisis, common sense cure,” The Lancet, Volume 360, Issue 9331, 10 August 2002, Pages 473-482, ISSN 0140-6736, 10.1016/S0140-6736(02)09678-2. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673602096782>

"Childhood Obesity." Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. US Department of Health and Health Services, n.d. Web. <http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/child_obesity.

"Childhood obesity: Risk factors." MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/childhood-obesity/DS00698/ DSECTION=risk-factors>.

"Overweight and Obesity: A Growing Problem." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Jan. 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/ obesity/childhood/problem.html>.

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CBS News has a list of 25 really salty processed foods. Click on the image above to learn more.
Advertisements for less healthy foods abound, targeting children who are already more at risk for obesity because they spend so much time watching TV or surfing the web.
And in terms of physical activity, the CDC says that in 2007, less than 20% of American high school students did their recommended hour of aerobic exercise every day.

Part of this is due to a lack of safe space to exercise, since some schools are cutting PE.
Because of this, children from low-income and minority backgrounds are more likely to become obese.
Children have: