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In the last twenty years, the number of obese children between the ages of 6-11 has tripled in the United States. For teenagers, those numbers are even worse. Public health officials are calling this an epidemic and warning that if the pattern continues, a startling new trend could emerge: children not out living their parents.
Beyond lowered self esteem, overweight kids face serious health risks that are likely to follow them into adulthood, problems that tax not only their bodies, but the entire healthcare system. In Connecticut, an estimated $856 million dollars are spent each year on adult health problems attributable to obesity. The state has attempted to address the problem in recent years, with legislation aimed at in-school junk food, but that's only part of the problem.
Today on Where We Live, we'll talk about the messages kids get about food and the hurdles families face as they try to make healthy decisions.
You can join the Conversation! What can parents do to keep kids from being overweight? How much blame can be placed on marketers pushing fast food and cheap calories? And what questions do you have about the cause of this epidemic?