In case you haven't noticed, I write a lot about childhood obesity. It really worries me, especially the insistence by so many parents that it is something that is affecting "other people's kids" and not their own.
But that's just not the case. According to the latest research, nearly one third of children age 10 to 17 in the United States were overweight as of 2007, and roughly half those kids qualified as obese. That means one out of every three children is overweight or potentially obese. These are not "other people's kids." These are our kids.
According to data that is slated to be published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, obesity rates rose in 36 states since the last sampling in 2003. Mississippi had the highest obesity rate in this age group at nearly 22 percent in 2007; Oregon had the lowest at 9.6 percent. Two states that had ranked on the skinny side in 2003, Nevada and Colorado, had sharp increases in their percentages of obese and overweight kids in the 2007 survey. Surprisingly, South Carolina saw its childhood obesity rate drop from 19 percent to 15 percent.
So even though we are identifying the problem, we have yet to break the trend. And that's what really worries me.