A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine warns that the fate of overweight children in this country is going to become an even bigger problem in the future. The study, based on the number of kids who are overweight now, says that the United States is going to face an alarming surge of devastating illnesses when the kids who are overweight now reach their 30's, with deaths from heart disease increasing by nearly 20 percent.
Dr. Kirsten Bibbens says, "We were really struck by the magnitude of this increase because we don't normally think of 35-50 year olds as being at high risk for heart disease." Pediatric obesity specialist, Dr. Tania Heller adds, "We see diabetes in younger kids these days. Many patients come to us with lipid abnormalities, high cholesterol and some have hypertension."
Of course, the best way to improve children's health is to encourage plenty of exercise, turn off the TV, and avoid junk food. The US government estimates that nine million American children, that's almost one in five, children are overweight and for the first time there is concern that adults today may outlive their children.