Childhood obesity is a growing concern for both parents and the government.
“Results from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), using measured heights and weights, indicate that an estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents ages 2-19 years are obese.” via Obesity and Overweight for Professionals: Childhood | DNPAO | CDC.
“Being overweight during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments, orthopedic problems, depression and type 2 diabetes as a youth. One disease of particular concern is Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to overweight and obesity and has increased dramatically in children and adolescents, particularly in American Indian, African American and Hispanic/Latino populations. The hospital costs alone associated with childhood obesity were estimated at $127 million during 1997–1999 (in 2001 constant U.S. dollars), up from $35 million during 1979–1981.” via Childhood Obesity.
Given the growing concern, the N.C. legislature has formed a 12 member task force to study and recommend strategies for encouraging healthy eating and increased physical activity in children.