Obesity in children, if not addressed immediately, can have serious effects on the population. Child obesity has a high likelihood of progressing even during the adult years, which heightens the risk of getting asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease later in life. In the United States, for example, about 15% of children are obese, and the stats do not seem to decrease per age group. It was also recently reported that an estimated 70% of obese children will tend to remain obese as they grow up.
As it is already understood, obesity in children is not only a concern for the United States, but in other nations as well. As a matter of fact, child obesity surveys are constantly underway to help monitor the incidence of the disease, and to determine if policies are effective in the attempt to remedy the problem. Below are some summaries of statistical findings from child obesity surveys by research groups, medical offices, and agencies in the US, United Kingdom, and Canada.
In 2003, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey among residents of San Francisco, particularly parents of school-aged children, to determine factors that lead to child obesity. Results from this study showed that about 69% of adults believe obesity in children is a major problem. However, when asked to rank the serious issues that afflict kids and teens today, drugs, alcohol, and violence are more cause for worry than obesity. From this study, a huge percentage of the parents (more than 80%) claim that the lack of regular exercise is the reason why a lot of kids and teens become obese. Following that choice, fast food restaurants and junk food intake are big causes for child obesity in their area.
Statistique Canada also conducted child obesity surveys, and a notable paper determining changes in prevalence rates in obesity over the past quarter of a century was written in 2004. From this study, it was estimated that more than half a million kids aged two to seventeen are obese. This represents about 8 to 9% of the age group in the population. Furthermore, the use of computers, video games, and excessive TV watching caused a rise in obesity rates from the aged six to seventeen group. It was found that about 40% of kids admit to eating fruits and vegetables everyday, which provides hope in encouraging a lot more to choose healthier meals.
In the United Kingdom, similar efforts were done to monitor the changes in child obesity rates over the years. A 2005 paper which was published by the National Centre for Social Research explains that over the past eight to ten years, obesity rates in various ages groups went up in the UK. Obesity among children of age two to ten, increased from about 10% in the year 1995 to more than 13% in 2003. It was also found by the child obesity survey that about 20% of children who live with obese or overweight parents have a tendency to become obese as well.